Tornado damages theatre

posted by Michael Zoldessy on February 22, 2008 at 7:43 am

I own a 1947 single screen theatre in Williamston, Michigan. We had a tornado go through October 2007 and suffered some minor damages. Our marquee and front facade is vintage. With some storm damage, we are unable to find someone to fix and restore the porcelain panels. We also are looking for any grants that might help in restoring the entire front facade.

Dan Robitaille

Comments (4)

steelbeard1 on February 22, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Mr. Robitaille is referring to the Sun Theatre in Williamston, MI which is listed in Cinema Treasures at /theaters/4214/
I wish you luck in getting the facade restored.

longislandmovies on February 23, 2008 at 7:26 pm

i posted a grants link on

quasimodo on February 24, 2008 at 11:20 am

Hey Longisland, are you posting on as “slapintheface”? This was the only current post re: grants. Thanks for your frequent contributions.

quasimodo on February 24, 2008 at 11:45 am

Dan, If any of the marquee panels have been damaged, these can be replicated by a porcelain sign manufacturer. I’ve used Cherokee Porcelain in Knoxville, TN. They do a great job matching color and can make replacement panels for any damaged ones that can be removed.

The porcelain enamel clad block on the front of your theatre is far more difficult to restore. Depending on the damage, these would have to be filled and repaired much like auto body work using plastic or fiberglass resins. Coatings technology continues to improve and there are many new primers and paint products that will bite into the existing porcelain and produce a look thats similar. They’ll never be exactly like the original porcelain and will require maintenance, but I know of no other alternative for on-site repair. If anyone else does, please advise.

I’ve been to your theatre in recent years. Keep up the good work.

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