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Larkspur, California



Painting on a Lark
Renovating of a historic theater

Pierpont Painting spent over 1,000 hours on the Lark Theater project.

In a project that took three seasons to complete, Pierpont Painting put in over 1,000 hours at the Lark Theater, a 1936 art deco movie house in Larkspur California, and one of only 50 Art Deco movie theaters listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This project included a full exterior painting, extensive restoration of a neon-lit 40-foot-tall sign, and a full interior lobby painting including wallcovering installation.

The theater itself plays a big role in the community, and it wasn’t closing down during the renovations. “We had to work around available days and times to complete the work,” said company owner Tim Pierpont. “In some cases, the theater closed for a few days for construction work but that meant we were competing for time and space with other trades also trying to accomplish their work.” Everyone had to juggle; at one point the crew was asked to wash, prep, and paint the theater floor within a two-day window so the Lark could get back to the business of showing movies.


Working on the building exterior.


The deep red wallcovering was installed over a matching tinted primer


Crew members pause for a rooftop photo.


Crew members pause for a rooftop photo.

The most fascinating and also the most challenging part of the project was the exterior sign, an add-on project gifted to Pierpont due to the need for a lead-certified company to carry out the work. “We found that the many layers of peeling needed to be removed and the original metal surfaces exposed, so we could properly prime and paint to achieve a long-lasting finish,” said Pierpont. “We used hand scrapers to remove over 90% of the old paint on the sign on some of the hottest days of the summer.” Due to RRP rules, the work was even hotter as the sign had to be encased in a heavy plastic barrier.

The crew enjoyed contributing to a community landmark.

Wallcovering installation — a 54" commercial vinyl Phillip Jeffries design — was installed in phases. “The walls to receive wallcovering were primed with a tinted primer that exactly matched the wallcovering’s deep red color,” said Pierpont. “This allowed the wallcovering to be installed in phases, as the lobby area was only available a day at a time over a few weeks, without patrons being able to see which areas had only been primed and which had already received wallcovering.”

“Very close coordination and communication with the general contractor was required to make all project phases go successfully,” said Pierpont. Hopefully they got a few free tickets for their trouble. APC

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