A sampling of some of the most vibrant, colorful signs.

If you're into cities, urban history, or even typefaces, it's hard to ignore a theater marquee.

These architectural appendages have lured us into plays and movies for decades, but changing tastes and technologies have made them a more uncommon sight. As they become more rare, old marquees have taken on a deeper cultural meaning, frequently serving as visual anchors for a street or cultural district.

Realizing this, many municipalities have seen the importance of funding their restorations when necessary. We looked around for theater marquees in various conditions throughout North America. Here are a few highlights:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A line of stores in Westport, Connecticut
    Equity

    Separated by Design: How Some of America’s Richest Towns Fight Affordable Housing

    In southwest Connecticut, the gap between rich and poor is wider than anywhere else in the country. Invisible walls created by local zoning boards and the state government block affordable housing and, by extension, the people who need it.

  2. A woman walks down a city street across from a new apartment and condominium building.
    Design

    How Housing Supply Became the Most Controversial Issue in Urbanism

    New research has kicked off a war of words among urban scholars over the push for upzoning to increase cities’ housing supply.

  3. Environment

    A 13,235-Mile Road Trip for 70-Degree Weather Every Day

    This year-long journey across the U.S. keeps you at consistent high temperatures.

  4. Design

    Bringing New Life to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Lost Designs

    “I would love to model all of Wright's work, but it is immense,” says architect David Romero. “I do not know if during all my life I will have time.”

  5. Equity

    Childhood Asthma: A Lingering Effect of Redlining

    New research shows that disparities in housing contribute to disparities in one of the most common chronic diseases afflicting children.