Valleybrook Church Illuminates Downtown Marquee Once Again

Lauren Fisher, photos by Taylor Smith

More than a thousand energy-efficient LED light bulbs flashed and gleamed for the first time on March 22 at the lighting ceremony for the Hollywood sign located at Valleybrook Church, 412 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire. The church raised more than $7,000 for the project through and with the help of an enhancement grant through Downtown Eau Claire Inc. Guests enjoyed light-bulb shaped cookies and each other’s company under the glitzy restoration. “We want to restore the building because we love downtown, but it’s also symbolic,” Jane Jeffries, the church member who wrote the DECI grant, said. “Churches should be about restoring people, restoring brokenness. … We want to be a light to the community in any way we can.” The update also includes a timer that will allow the marquee to run at night and turn off automatically in the daylight. According to Jeffries, the light may also increase the safety of the 400 block of South Barstow.  The marquee was originally installed when the Hollywood Theater was built in 1947. The building closed in 1992, and was bought two years later by Valleybrook Church. “I love the trend of fixing up downtown, and this is an historic building, so I love that we can restore it,” Jeffries said.