William Addington – Guest Contributor
Nov 8 2011
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Ever since the Kessler Theater opened its born-again doors back in March 2010, people noticed that the building is missing what made these historic "Art Deco" theaters such a modern marvel for their time — the fiery glow of a neon sign. After so much success has surrounded the theater in the last year as a space for the community to gather, it has also attracted the attention of notable acts who have invited wider audiences to walk the streets of the reawakening Oak Cliff neighborhood. Where did the old neon sign go? Well, it could have been damaged in 1957 when a tornado ripped the old theater's roof off or maybe five years later when a fire destroyed much of the inside. For being a building that was built to provide a space for entertainment, the theater's history alone sounds like something out of an old movie script starring Gene Autry, who so happens to be a previous owner of the neighborhood landmark. 

The new signage being proposed to the Landmark committee will add a neon marque over the front entrance doors much like many theaters had during its time. The plan also includes adding white neon to outline the Art Deco shape of the building. The icing on this cupcake of art deco history will be installing the signature "Kessler" letters — in neon, of course — on the east facade of the theater, so people coming down Davis Street from the east will not miss this re-imagined Oak Cliff destination.

If you wish to read over the Landmark Commission proposal, you can find it on the city's website:

(Page C 7-1 is where you will find the application from the Kessler Theater.)