Object No. 28: Russell Theatre marquee

When a local group set out to restore the Russell Theatre in downtown Maysville, one of the first things that got its attention was the movie house's marquee.

The theater was built in the late 1920s by Col. J. Barbour Russell who vowed the theater would be to Maysville "what the Roxy is to New York ..." The interior of the Spanish style theater featured stars, the moon and rainbow in the ceiling. It was the site of Rosemary Clooney's movie premier in 1953, "The Stars are Singing."

But before visitors could even see the eye-catching interior of the theater, it was the responsibility of the marquee over Third Street to lure them in.

With its exquisite scroll work, stage lights and red heart-shaped badges surrounding the theater's name, the marquee has heralded other important events long after the movie names were gone. A return to Maysville by Rosemary Clooney and a visit from former President Bill Clinton are among the events which have been recognized on the marquee.

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Work continues on the interior of the theater, and crowds are once again gathering at the site to watch movies and much on popcorn. And the marquee continues to entice passersby to stop in and take a peek at what lies behind its facade.

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Editor

Editor and reporter, covering Mason County.

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