A celebration marking the completion of a gigantic 30′ x 50′ mural on Player’s Theatre’s north wall will be held on Tuesday, October 25 from 3-5:30 pm at the corner of State St. and Mandeville St. in downtown Utica.
The mural features recreations of nine downtown Utica movie theater marquees from the early 1900s to the mid ’60s, and was painted by Maria Vallese of Retro Sorrento. The project is a collaboration among Utica Monday Nite, Player’s Theatre, and Rust2Green, and was designed to honor Utica Monday Nite’s 25th Anniversary this year, according to founder Lynne Mishalanie.
“Downtown Utica was a hotbed of movie theaters back in the day, and the marquees reflected the unique artistic style and design of that time period,” she explained. “To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we wanted to showcase that art form in a big way, and this magnificent, breathtakingly beautiful mural certainly accomplishes that and more. It also brings to the Oneida Square Arts District an incredible new attraction and another reason for people to visit and experience the vibrancy of our local arts community.”
Mishalanie explained the mural’s concept was developed in collaboration with, and financial support from, R2G as part of its Place Making in Utica’s Public Realm project, designed to inspire the community to collectively re-imagine and reinvent its public spaces.
During a ceremony and reception at Player’s Theater,. Utica Monday Nite will document and share the history of the mural’s theaters that helped define the cultural arts in the City of Utica. In addition, there will be a meet and greet with the muralist, and Mayor Rob Palmieri will be in attendance to deliver remarks and officially “unveil” the mural. The event is free and open to the public , and the theatre will offer tours along with a preview of its upcoming season lineup.
Vallese’s design is a re-creation of nine downtown theatre marquees, including The Stanley, Olympic, Majestic, Colonial, Oneida, Hippodrome, Utica, Avon, and Orpheum, along with their years of operation.(mural mock up.htm)
“You can’t miss it,” Mishalanie said.”It’s literally outstanding and larger than life.”
Mishalanie founded Utica Monday Nite in 1997 with the intention of promoting the local arts while generating economic activity in downtown Utica by drawing people to the area with live music, art exhibits, and walking tours.
For more information, visit umn4arts.org and playerstheater.com