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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Show N Sell Sign

the Show N Sell Sign is the former marquee from the Empire Theater on main Street.  When the theater was torn down, the theater marquee was rescued by Robert and Becky Weiss. The sign was built in 1954 when the Empire Theater was constructed. The Show N Sell sign was placed on the roof of the Midtown Plaza on the southwest corner of Broadway and 2nd Avenue. A number of energy saving materials. As the Empire Marquee the sign was illuminated with 480 incandescent light bulbs. As the Show N Sell sign it is illuminated by two exterior high intensity lights. The sign was rented by people and businesses wanting to advertise or announce special events. As co-owner of the Show N Sell sign I can attest to some of the challenges in operating it. The only access to the sign on the roof was by an extension ladder placed on the west side of the building. The first winter of ownership we discovered that water on the roof pooled below the sign. In the winter, the wind blew and polished the ice, making it very slippery. We used a step ladder to place the letters on the sign as this worked much better and was quicker than using the long arms to place the letters. With the ice it became a two man job. One to hold the ladder and one to place the letters. In later years we placed wooden pallets upside down below the sign. When they froze into the ice, the step ladder would not slide around while working on the sign. I have a picture of the sign somewhere. I will look for it to scan after I find it when we get back home. We have been evacuated due to possible flooding of the Mouse River. Below is the sign in its original form on the Empire Theater.


  1. It was SUCH a big deal when the Empire Theater opened! It was absolutely beautiful inside. I watched the Elvis movies there and remember how impressive Dr Zhivago was on that big screen! Was very sad when I heard that it had been torn down.

  2. did you find the show & sell picture?