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Client:  Fox Pomona Theater
Developer:  Arteco Partners
Location:  Pomona, CA

Project Overview:
When the historic Fox Pomona Theater was purchased by Arteco Partners and slated for a complete renovation, ForSight Creations was chosen to refurbish the large exterior neon marquee sign, as well as the spinning tower sign high atop the theater’s 81 foot tower.  ForSight was also selected to fabricate more than 70 historic light fixtures and architectural chandeliers throughout the theater.  The Fox Pomona Theater was originally built in 1931 in downtown Pomona as an elaborate art deco movie palace during Hollywood’s golden age.

The original marquee sign from 1931 was actually remade in the 1950’s, so ForSight used a variety of historic photos and references from the 1950’s to refurbish the existing sign to its appearance from that time period.  After neon and paint colors were chosen, the marquee sign was stripped, prepped and painted to replicate the original paint pattern.  Then live patterns were taken in order to produce more than 700 pieces of custom neon.  The entire marquee structure was then rewired and all new electrical components were installed.  ForSight also replaced the lighting underneath the structure.

The spinning Fox tower sign, which is more than 25 feet high and sits on top of the building’s 81 foot tower, was removed in August of 2008 and completely refurbished before being reinstalled in November of 2008.  ForSight also replaced the motor on top of the tower which allows the tower sign to slowly spin, which it had previously not done for decades.  The tower sign was one of the tallest and most recognizable structures in the area when the theater was originally built.

ForSight’s scope also included a large variety of architectural and specialty lighting within the theater.  The client requested that the original fixtures be replicated as close as possible in appearance and dimensions, so ForSight used historic photos as references to custom fabricate more than 70 fixtures.  The largest chandeliers span more than 6’ in height and hang more than 40’ above the theater floor.  Each one of these chandeliers was fabricated and assembled using more than 900 individual pieces of material, and integrates both colored LED technology and standard fluorescent lights.  Many of the largest fixtures contained both LED and standard lighting, which gave the impressive historic fixtures a functional and convenient modern twist.

Additionally, after one of the original decorative wall sconces was uncovered within the theater, an aluminum cast of part of the original sconce was produced allowing ForSight to fabricate new sconces that were identical in shape, dimension, and character.  ForSight used aluminum instead of steel, and 3/8” frosted acrylic with a vinyl overlay rather than etched glass in order to value engineer all fixtures.  This technique resulted in a look and feel that was identical to the original fixtures at a fraction of the cost.

The Fox Pomona Theater was originally built in 1930 and opened in 1931 for a cost of $350,000.  It contained state of the art projection and sound equipment, as well as air conditioning.  At that time, Pomona was an agricultural community on the outskirts of Los Angeles, but the theater represented an important landmark for the city, as well as for California’s growing film industry.  In the 1940’s, the theater was a home base for the war effort as it was often used to show newsreels and footage of the war.  It reached its peak in the 1950’s and 1960’s before creeping into disrepair in the 1980’s when it was no longer used as a theater.  The newest renovation by Arteco Partners cost just over $10 million to complete.

For more information on the newly renovated Fox Pomona Theater, you can visit www.foxpomona.com.  Additional historical photos and images can be found at www.pomonafox.org/history.asp

Click here to go to the Sign Gallery and see all images of the Fox Pomona Theater project.