ENDICOTT, NY – A flashy new addition to the Avenue is being touted as the first major step in the transformation of Endicott’s downtown business district.

The countdown clock finally struck zero on Friday afternoon, debuting the new L-E-D message boards on the Endicott Performing Arts Center.

It took roughly 4 years to install the digital marquee with money coming from the Greater Binghamton Fund.

E-PAC Artistic Director Pat Foti says the unveiling came 24 years to the day that a contract was signed to purchase the former vaudeville and movie theater that had fallen into disrepair.

Foti says the goal has been to introduce new, up-to-date features while maintaining the historic elements of the structure.

That includes the light bulbs on the marquee.

“We did not want to get rid of the chasers. We just felt that that was always something very special to the marquee. Same thing with the interior. Every time we did remodel something, it was always with the intent of bringing it back to 1917,” says Foti.

Village officials say this marks the most visible improvement to Washington Ave so far from the 6 million dollars of Greater Binghamton Fund monies.

Endicott is also developing a plan for an additional 10 million coming from its Downtown Revitalization Initiative win last December.

Deputy Mayor Nick Burlingame says the best is yet to come.

“Endicott and Washington Avenue will be revitalized, No, it won’t happen over night. But the tide has turned. Now is the time to invest in Endicott. It is the time to support your neighbors, small businesses, restaurants, charities and of course the arts,” says Burlingame.

Speakers gave tribute to E-PAC’s original executive director Lou Ligouri who died of cancer last July.

For a list of upcoming shows, go to EndicottArts.com.