Little Theatre sign returns

A historical downtown Bamberg landmark has returned. ‘The Little Theatre’ sign, removed from its original position atop the theatre in August of 2007 for restoration, was replaced on July 23, 2009 with a new look.

Downtown Bamberg was buzzing with curious on lookers and by passers Thursday morning as a small section of Main Highway in front of the theatre was coned off for the sign’s installation.

Triangle Signs of West Columbia with a large crane heisted the new sign 14 feet in the air above the street to its original location.

The sign, originally built in the 1920s by Ray Dutrow of Progressive Sign Company of Columbia, SC., measures 12 ft. 6 inches in height and is 9 ft. wide.

T he new sign has been restored with new Art Deco colors of red, white and black with new neon lights. On August 1, 2009, at 9:00 p.m. the signs’ lights will be turned on for the first time in 50 years.

The theatre, now known as Scarlett’s Little Theatre and Banquet Hall was built in the 1920’s Art Deco design to serve as a movie theatre for Bamberg County residents. The original theatre seated 300 Whites in the lower level and 60 Blacks in the upper level balcony. As times have changed so has the facility.

Today the facility is used as a multi-purpose entertainment establishment for weddings, family reunions, parties and live performances.

The theatre also changed its name through the years as owners changed. Some of the names the theatre has gone under are Thielene Theatre, LA Victory Theatre, Lyric Theatre, and Little Theatre.

The restoration of the Little Theatre sign and the many events planned in the area in the near future for the facility is seen as another step in making downtown Bamberg the vibrant and thriving economic area that the city is working toward.

“We’re trying hard to have a nice place in Bamberg,” Ms. Scarlett, Owner/Manager of the theatre said Thursday.

Ms. Scarlett, and the theatre’s new owners thanks the City of Bamberg; David P. Kelly, of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia; Wayne Roberts, SCDOT, Columbia; Mark A. Westbury, SCDOT, St. George and Billy Hayes, Triangle Signs LLC of West Columbia for their assistance is getting the sign back in the original location.