YESCO Relights Idaho’s Panida Theater

Since the 1980s, a Board of Directors has overseen the theater’s operation. Unfortunately, the previous Board allowed its neon marquee to go dark over the past six years. Inspired by my long association with the Panida as an employee and volunteer, I initiated an effort to save the marquee. My endeavor was aided by Randy Dixon of the Idaho Heritage Trust, who had restored neon signage in Pocatello.

I contacted the YESCO Electric Sign Company located in Post Falls, Idaho, one of the region’s last remaining neon fabricators. They provided an estimate, as did a second sign company. The Board selected YESCO after the fundraising chairperson, Foster Cline, cultivated numerous donations and grants for the funding. My job was coordinating the work and obtaining permits and an estimate for the restoration of the marquee.

Work began in August 2021, as YESCO crews removed all internal and external neon and replaced the interior lighting behind all white plexiglass panels with cost-efficient LED elements. Throughout the summer, I set up ladders and coordinated a boom truck to clean, repair, prime, and repaint the entire structure and resurfaced its roofing along with Panida’s facility manager, Bill Lewis. I also rehabbed and hand-lettered the original mounted PANIDA dimensional letters on the marquee’s mast. Later that month, YESCO completed the neon tubing installation on time and close to budget...

Read the full article written by Doug Jones at