How Dallas’ Lakewood Theater Marquee Got Its Sparkle Back


Dallas’ Lakewood neighborhood is home to the circa 1938 Lakewood Theater, a long-standing piece of North Texas history. Not everything is brick and mortar though; when its iconic neon marquee needed refurbishment, owners turned to Denton-based Kieffer | Starlite.

On this episode of the Pro AV Podcast, host Sean Heath sat down with Mark Jackson, national account manager for Kieffer | Starlite, to recount how they helped bring the theater’s iconic neon sign back to its former twilight glory.

“There was certainly pressure to maintain the nostalgia,” Jackson said of starting the project in November 2018. “We wanted to maintain the originality of what the sign is.”

Kieffer | Starlite set about repairing the neon lights that panel the tower and replacing the lights found in the light ball atop the sign. They used one of the last full-functioning neon plants in Dallas to hand blow the glass tubes used for this unique lighting solution.

Jackson shared insight into the artistry as well as outdoor practicality for using neon in signs, rather than replacing with LED.

“Neon just has a certain quality that’s not the same with LED,” he said.

Maintaining its nostalgic cache was vital for a project like this, Jackson explained.

“What makes Lakewood unique is there are not many other neighborhoods that are so attached to things within their community like the Lakewood Theater,” Jackson said.

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