The iconic Queen Park Cinema sign that towered for more than 50 years over South Boulevard is up for grabs as part of a contest being coordinated through Historic Charlotte.
Pappas Properties, which owns the sign, has pledged to award it to the applicant who submits the best plan for preservation and future display by Oct. 30. It will even deliver it for free.
The sign, dismantled in 2014, was long a familiar landmark for South Boulevard commuters, standing atop a two-story pole near the Scaleybark Road intersection. It first advertised the Queens Drive-In, which opened in 1962. After the drive-in closed, the tower was kept to advertise the Queen Park Cinema, which opened in the same location in 1982.
Queen Park Cinema closed in 1998, and the building was torn down more than a decade ago for the Lynx light rail line. However, the sign remained up until last year.
What remains of the sign today is a lozenge-shaped “Queen Park Multi-Cinema” sign made from Plexiglas and metal (5-by-10 feet) and a plastic “QP” sign (2-by-4 feet). Both signs have acquired an appealing patina in their years of service.
Pappas Properties is finalizing plans to develop the property with the intent of bringing a new, transit-oriented development along Charlotte’s Lynx light rail line. Company officials said they had originally hoped to incorporate the sign in its entirety within the new development, but that proved difficult.
Since being dismantled, the sign has been in storage at D.H. Griffin in Charlotte, which is one of the contest sponsors.
Those who are interested in the sign should write to Historic Charlotte at email@example.com or PO Box 32782, Charlotte, NC 28232 with a description of the following: Why do you think you are the most deserving caretaker of this piece of Charlotte’s history? Where it will be displayed if you win? Who will see it once on display? How the piece will be protected and preserved?