Restored: Times Theater marquee and box office in Rochester, Indiana

This sign was a basket case the last time I saw it.

Times Theater, Rochester
Times Theater, Rochester
Times Theater, Rochester

I made those photos in 2019. The sign had deteriorated a lot since I first photographed it, in 2008. The theater behind this sign was still showing first-run movies then, but like so many small-town and neighborhood theaters, it didn’t make it.

Times Theater
Times Theater sign

A group got together to save the Times Theater, and oh boy, did they succeed. Check out the marquee now!

Times Theater, Rochester
Times Theater, Rochester
Times Theater, Rochester
Times Theater, Rochester
Times Theater, Rochester

Congratulations to the group that ensured this theater would be vital in Rochester and Fulton County for another generation. Check out their Web site (here) for a terrific video of the first official lighting of this great sign.

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17 responses to “Restored: Times Theater marquee and box office in Rochester, Indiana”

  1. lizkflaherty Avatar

    Isn’t it wonderful what they’ve done? Rochester is a wonderful little town!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s the town my grandmother and her family were from, so I will always have a soft spot in my heart for it.

  2. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Absolutely salute this type of operation and restoration! A wonderful job! In addition, for some reason, the insurance industry has been a key player in the reduction of these type of signs. Large overhanging signs have been considered a potential insurance danger, and many small cafes, theaters, and shops have elected to remove these signs and sidewalk overhangs for smaller insurance premiums; killing a lot of historic architectural features, glad this remains.

    Many places I’ve lived have restored their vintage theaters for showing alt, foreign, and indie films. The Landmarks theater operation has been a key participant in this, I’m not sure they’re still around, but one of our local restored theaters was purchased by the people that run the local film festival, and they are keeping up the building in fine shape. Another of our showcase theaters right downtown was bought and restored by our local symphony to become their home. This is a trend I back one hundred percent!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve heard (from people in the sign preservation crowd) that especially large neon signs can be impossible to get restored — once they’re off the building, codes won’t allow them to be reaffixed. I bet it ties into the insurance stuff you mention.

  3. Ted Shideler Avatar


    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I thought surely this marquee was a goner!

  4. Michael Avatar

    Well done though I’d be concerned that the sheet metal has already pulled away from the back above the guywire. They need to remedy that.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Good eye.

  5. Marc Beebe Avatar

    The golden age of building! When it was ARTitecture.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      A short period in time in the overall scheme, sadly.

  6. Suzassippi Avatar

    And thank goodness they also restored the brick front and ticket booth!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes, that stone facade wasn’t all that attractive.

  7. tbm3fan Avatar

    My parents lived in Orinda from 1972-1995 and so there was the Art Deco Orinda Theater. There was a plan to tear down and replace in 1984 which I recall is part of the reason unincorporated Orinda became an incorporated town. There were several theaters in the small towns of Contra Costa with similar signs such as Moraga and Lafayette. The big difference here is that the sign is part of the building and not hanging from the building by steel attachments.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Structural signage! That’s probably wise from a preservation perspective.

  8. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    Fabulous when an important old building like this is restored and preserved hopefully for many years to come! What a transformation!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I love it when this can happen in a small town like Rochester where there isn’t the same level of means as in a larger city.

  9. J P Avatar

    Love it!

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