Olympia Entertainment Details Renovation Plans for Fox Theatre Marquee

Marquee revitalization to pair iconic design with up-to-date digital capabilities

(DETROIT - June 23, 2015) — Olympia Entertainment today announced the renovation of one of Woodward’s most-cherished illuminated gems, the marquee of the historic Fox Theatre. This multi-phase revitalization will preserve the historic integrity of the signature 1988 marquee design, while adding modern LED reader boards, animations for the Theatre’s griffins and new audio capabilities.

“When my parents Mike and Marian Ilitch purchased the Fox Theatre in 1987, they had a vision of restoring the theatre to its original splendor and making it a Detroit destination that created pride for our entire community,” said Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “More than a quarter century later, the Fox Theatre continues to be one of the most beloved destinations in our city. We’re excited to renovate this important community icon as so many other exciting developments are taking place throughout Detroit and its main street, Woodward Avenue.”

The project began on Thursday, June 18, with the deconstruction of the existing marquee. The anticipated completion of the renovated marquee is slated for July. The renovation, which will preserve the historic integrity of the signature 1988 marquee design, will involve more than 7,000 sheets of aluminum, 342 square feet of video display and approximately 5,000 feet of new neon and 1,024 LED canopy lighting components. In addition to marrying the iconic look of the Fox Theatre with state-of-the-art digital capabilities, the renovation will improve structural foundations for the marquee.

Detroit-based contractors Fairmont Sign Company and Spectrum Neon Signs and Lighting, will join with national leaders Daktronics and YESCO to complete this project.

The highlights of the renovation include:

  • LED reader boards: The marquee’s dynamic content capabilities will be expanded by anchoring two LED Daktronic reader boards measuring 8.4 feet high by 20.4 feet wide on both sides of the horizontal Fox canopy. The 8 millimeter pixel layout will also provide content zoning designed to show one large image or multiple windows for any combination of show information, graphics or sponsorship messaging.
  • New animation: Spectrum’s locally-handcrafted neon will outline the marquee’s replicated aluminum design highlighted by new animation to both of the Fox Theatre’s 14-foot griffins, allowing the venue’s guardians to flap their wings. New modular LED YESCO puck lighting will also display programmable lighting sequences under the marquee canopy utilizing a variety of colors and movements.
  • Audio: Recessed within the canopy panels, four new speakers will be added to the marquee’s structure allowing for venue announcements.
  • Improved structural foundation: Structural construction in steel and aluminum will afford enhanced longevity and serviceability of the marquee’s framework.

“The renovation of the Fox Theatre marquee will provide a new and exciting visual experience for the more than 12 million visitors to the sports and entertainment district each year,” said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment. “This marquee will increase reach and visibility with our patrons and sponsors while also serving as one of the many developments, including the new Detroit Events Center, that continue to add momentum on Woodward Avenue.”


About The Fox Theatre

Constructed in 1928 by William Fox, the founder of Fox Film Corporation, the Fox Theatre is the second largest theatre in existence today and has reigned as Detroit’s crown jewel among its theatre district for more than 85 years. Restored to its original splendor after being purchased by Mike and Marian Ilitch in 1987, the Fox Theatre continues to shine in the heart of Detroit and plays host to the world’s most popular entertainers, Broadway productions and family programming. Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1989, it is only one of three surviving movie palaces, including St. Louis and Atlanta. To learn more about the Fox Theatre and view upcoming events, visit www.OlympiaEntertainment.com/fox-theatre.

About Olympia Entertainment

Olympia Entertainment, a Detroit-based company owned by entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch, is one of the country’s most diverse sport and entertainment companies and the largest organization of its kind in the mid-west. The company owns and operates Detroit’s Fox Theatre, the intimate City Theatre and also books and operates Joe Louis Arena and books Comerica Park. Olympia Entertainment also handles business operations for the Detroit Red Wings, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League and collaborates with the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise and other Ilitch companies.

Other Ilitch companies include: Little Caesars Pizza, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, the Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesar Pizza Kits Fundraising Program and Olympia Development. Additionally, Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers, Inc., and Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel.

To learn more about Olympia Entertainment, visit www.OlympiaEntertainment.com. Also follow Olympia on Twitter @OEontheGo and at facebook.com/officialolympiaentertainment

Explore the District