Monday, February 2, 2015

The Cameo vintage sign is burning bright again.

A small black and white photo framed on the back wall of Snap! Orlando shows the historic Cameo Theater with its original signage. Building owner Jorge Boone applied to the Orlando City Counsel to have a replica of the original Cameo sign put back on top of the building "to re-establish the identity of the building and bring a sense of history and place to the area." The project is expected to cost around $29,000 and the city agreed to Boone's request for $14,000 through the facade program. The new 18-foot-long sign will use the same retro font as the original, and it will be lit with more than 300 LED bulbs.

The Cameo Theater first opened opened on Christmas Day, 1940. It was a latecomer in Orlando’s movie theaters, and was located just a block west of the Vogue Theater. Open for only a few years (maybe less than five), the Cameo sat abandoned for years, save for an occasional booking by a evangelical group.

The building was remodeled and occupied for years by IBM. Since then it has had many occupants, and has often been vacant. The marquee still stands. In October 2008, it was in use as a live performance space, but had closed by Summer of 2009. By early-2010, it had reopened and was available ‘For Rent’, and several groups had regular performances, primarily live music.

Today the Cameo Theater is home to Snap! Orlando, a hip gallery that is bringing cutting edge exhibits to Orlando. The owners, Patrick and Holly Kahn  also have expanded Snap into a gallery space in Miami and they seem to have finally created a gallery worthy of a top class city here in Orlando.  Nearly 1200 people came to celebrate Snaps one year anniversary, and the lighting of the Cameo sign on January 23, 2015. As Patrick said "Thank you to all of our partners, supporters, Snap! team members and friends who joined us last night! Our deepest appreciation and love to the exceptional Jorge Boone and Magdalena Dalsjo for reviving the Cameo sign, and sponsoring the public art fence, created by Chris Scala. In 2015 Snap is planning a citywide event with pop-up art exhibits, lectures with guest speakers, workshops, and other educational and cultural events. Announcements soon."

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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