Published on : Saturday, January 21, 2017
On Monday, this week, the lights on the six billboards went dark as the property company that owns the popular tourist site has planned to replace them with state-of-the-art single digital screen. According to the owner, Land Securities, the 784-square-meter screen will be the largest in Europe and will retain the curved shape and patchwork appearance of the current lights.
The lights will go back in the fall when they will be linked with high-speed Wi-Fi network where it will display the live-stream events from across the globe. During the redevelopment work, an advertising banner that won’t change will cover the area.
The busy intersection in London’s theatre district — which sees millions of people pass through it each year – has been famous for its lights for more than a century. According to documents from the former London County Council, the first illuminated lettering was attached to buildings there in the late 1890s.
Land Securities, which has owned the famous landmark since 1968, says the first illuminated advertising billboard was a Perrier sign erected in 1908. Gradually, the light bulbs were replaced with neon lights and the first digital projectors introduced in 1998.
With the aim to hamper German bombers, the lights were turned off for an extended period, during World War II. The only other time it was dimmed for brief period was during occasional blackouts and while remembering the funerals of Winston Churchill in 1965 and Princess Diana in 1997.
Tourists from all across the globe will be waiting to see the amazing newly installed state-of-the-art screen lights.