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Behind the Scenes at the Majestic 7 Cinema

Architectural Signage, Branding, Customer Spotlight, Exterior Signage, Sign Design

Lights! Camera! Action!

In 2019, the family-owned and operated Majestic Cinemas began a major build-out at the Arsenal Yards shopping center. It included an exciting signage package to draw the attention of prospective visitors to the new movie theater.

The signs complement this eclectic collection of retail, restaurant, and entertainment spaces in Watertown, MA’s historic Arsenal Yards. Metro incorporated color-changing LEDs into the canopy and blade signs. This approach allows the theater to adjust the colors to highlight seasons, events, holidays, and featured new releases.

Edits on the Cutting Room Floor

The space that houses the theater was once an old tank armory and factory. Boylston Properties and The Wilder Companies collaborated to convert this old brick building into an upscale modern movie theater with an industrial feel.  

But creating signage for older, repurposed buildings often leads to unique design challenges. The original plans continued to evolve throughout the project. Metro collaborated with the client, general contractor and architect to work through the challenges of design and engineering required to provide signage that met the team’s vision.

The sign at the main entrance, which runs along the back side of the retail building, originally featured two signs designed to sit on the tower. When the Metro team discovered that the planned mount wouldn’t work with the renovated entryway, they engineered a new, cost-effective solution in the 11th hour to keep the project on track. This change required some challenging last minute welding from their certified specialist to provide the necessary mounting supports.

Metro also had to redesign the second blade sign on the building’s elevation facing Arsenal Street. The original plan called for using a through-bolt mounting, but the new construction had added vapor barriers and finished walls that wouldn’t accommodate this type of mount. The Metro team troubleshot and redesigned an effective alternative. They developed a plan to use a different mount to safely and securely anchor the sign in the new wall with epoxy anchors. They also worked with the site electrician to ensure he could run electricity to power the sign. 

 Metro’s team communicated back and forth with other stakeholders on the project, to include working with the city to gain the necessary approval for permits. MSA also worked with both in-house engineering and an outside structural engineering firm to obtain approval for the plans.

 

It’s a Wrap!

The original project goal — after its approval in January — was to fabricate and install the sign in late February. Construction issues pushed the deadline to early March, but Metro built the sign quickly to make the new date. 

Despite some unanticipated issues that required unique troubleshooting, everything came together by the install date. No one knew that everything was about to shut down because of the pandemic, and everyone was determined that the Majestic would be ready for its red carpet grand opening. 

While COVID-19 forced the theater to stay dark for many months, the Majestic Cinemas opened its doors to movie fans in September. Now bright, color-changing LED signs welcome everyone on their way to enjoy one of America’s favorite pastimes: seeing a film.

 

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