DECATUR, Ala. -- It's a view fit for a King, or in this case, a Princess. The Princess Theatre in downtown Decatur has been around for more than 100 years and is known for its trademark marquee. And those marquee lights are about to get a lot brighter. The historic landmark on Second Avenue is getting a helping hand from a corporate neighbor.
"It has seen from vaudeville to movie theatre time to now," said Anne Scarbrough, Executive Director of the Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts. "So it's something that has been constant for people who have lived and grown up here." She was excited about a generous gift Daikin America was giving them to improve the sign. "It's going to make a huge difference for us and our beautiful historic marquee," she said.
David Hendrixon with Daikin America presented a check to Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling and said, "We want to give a donation of 100 thousand dollars." That drew a round of applause from those gathered under the Princess marquee Thursday afternoon. Afterwards, Hendrixon said, "The Princess Theatre is such an iconic place and everybody uses it from children to adults to the senior citizens so we thought it was a great thing to give back to the community."
Money left over from renovating the sign will be used for other downtown improvements, including painting the lamp posts. "We'll end up coating our lighting and replacing some of the existing incandescent lighting with LED which will be more energy-efficient," Mayor Bowling said.
Redoing the Princess marquee is a good sign the downtown area is doing well and growing in the River City. " I think it really just literally says, we're here, we're alive," Anne Scarbrough said with a huge smile.
The folks at the Princess Theatre hope to start the marquee renovations in mid September and be finished by Christmas.