Most venues change the marquee late at night, at the end of a concert, with little to no witnesses. We’re different here at The UC Theatre. My name is Bobby and I change the marquee during brunch hours of any given day after a show, because the encounters I have with the Downtown Berkeley public are extremely rewarding.
It’s so intriguing to nearly every passer-by! Literally dozens of people will tell me that they’ve never seen a marquee being changed in their life. They’ve always wondered how it was done, and for some reason, our method is just so interesting.
The technology is quite complex: I use a suction cup on the end of a pole. There is a string attached to a corner of the suction cup, which is used to release the suction. I smack the letters on the top line and take them down, and smack all the lines below and move them up a line. Another show is added to the bottom line.
Often times, brunch eaters will stop dead in their tracks and watch me change the marquee for a while. Parents of little kids like to use my job as spelling practice, watching intently to see what words I’m putting together. From the babies in arms to seniors with walkers in awe, there’s clearly something magical about seeing the marquee being changed.
There is magic throughout the music industry. There is magic in every music venue, and as The UC Theatre holds more shows with more magical energy to spread, I get more excited to see what magic is going up on the marquee next. By doing the marquee during brunch hours (and often when our box office is open, on Friday & Sunday), I get to deliver some of that magic to our beloved Downtown Berkeley community.