Downtown Chilliwack’s iconic Paramount Theatre sign could rise again despite sustaining some damage when it was taken down Monday morning.
The red, white and gold landmark that had hung over the downtown theatre since 1949 (when it first opened with Sorrowful Joe—a film starring Bob Hope and Lucille Ball) buckled in several places while it was lowered onto a flatbed trailer.
The buckling was not unexpected, however, although the bent outside trim will have to be replaced, according to City of Chilliwack project manager Eric Dyck.
“The sign is not a rigid structure,” he told the Times. “It’s made up of a whole bunch of panels…It’s like a bunch of dominoes that are all bolted together.”
The removal cost the city $5,000, and the 40-foot sign will now be stored at the new public works yard on Luckakuck Way until someone finds a use for it.
“We’re hoping that when there is future development in the downtown core that whoever is chosen to be the developer within that area will be able to utilize that sign and restore it back to its original glory,” Mayor Sharon Gaetz said.
However, besides repairing the damage sustained during the move, any developer or community group looking to restore the sign will also need to get its electrical system up to code.
“It’ll certainly have its challenges but I think it’s something that the community really wanted to see,” Gaetz said.
The city hasn’t received any proposals for the sign yet and is open to suggestions about what to do with it, Dyck said.
He couldn’t say how long the city was willing to wait.
“That would be up to the politicians to decide,” he said.