Emerson Colonial Theatre
Historic Emerson Colonial Theatre Upgrades with First-Of-Its-Kind LED Marquee
The Emerson Colonial Theatre sits quietly in the middle of Boylston Street, steps away from the historic Boston Common. The theater, which opened its doors in the year 1900 with a production of Ben Hur, is well known for preserving its look and design. Recently, the theater brought its exterior look up to date with a new marquee featuring LED display technology from SNA Displays.
Restoration and Renovation
The update was part of a large-scale renovation completed just in time for the pre-Broadway world premiere of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Along with adding exterior LED signage, the renovation included re-painting the auditorium walls to their original shade of turquoise, adding an orchestra bar, and transitioning to a more modern backstage fly system to replace the older ropes and sandbags used to lower scrims and backdrops onto the stage. As General Manager Erica Lynn Schwartz tells Architectural Digest, “Modern conveniences bring us into the next century.”
Chief among those modern conveniences is the theater’s new LED technology. SNA Displays expedited the manufacturing and installation process to ensure the three exterior displays were in place before the theater’s opening night.
4 mm Pixel Pitch Technology
This display is the first of its kind in the U.S. The exterior displays feature a 4 mm pixel pitch, meaning the center of each pixel is only 4 mm (0.18”) away from an adjacent pixel. Typically, exterior LED displays consist of a pixel pitch between 8 mm and 12 mm, so these theater screens feature at least 100% more pixel density than similar installations, allowing for content to be much more crisp and detailed, which can be important for relatively smaller marquee displays.
The project includes a display on each face of the 3-sided marquee. The largest and most prominent of the screens is the front face, which is approximately 2’6” high by 17’6” wide and looks out directly over Boston Common. Each of the two side faces is 3’0” high by 5’6” wide. To allow for efficient serviceability of the display, SNA also designed and integrated a custom hinge-and-lock cabinet feature.