GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – When Santisi’s IGA closed in Girard seven years ago, the downtown area was left with a vacant storefront. In June, it became occupied by Past Times, a pinball and video arcade. Now, the south end of the building is a “work of art.”
Matt Weiss owns a lawn care company in Girard. This past week, he watched as a mural was being painted on the south wall of Past Times Pinball & Video Arcade.
“If we get some more murals like that around the city, I think it’ll really make the place start looking nice. I mean, it’s great,” Weiss said.
Howland’s Lydia Tarleton was the artist who painted the mural. It took a week to develop the draft, followed by a coat of black paint.
“Then at night, we came and projected the image on the wall and we outlined it with paint. So the next day, we were able to come, for the next three days, fill in the color,” Tarleton said.
As Tarleton was painting, people would beep their horns.
“I’d turn and look and they’d give a thumbs up,” Tarleton said.
Two women even stopped to talk.
“The parking lot’s kind of far away, so they had to park their cars and walk all the way down the sidewalk just to be like, ‘This is amazing. Girard really needs this,'” Tarleton said.
“I think that I’ve seen a miracle before my eyes,” said Rob Berk, who owns the building and the arcade. “I think this young lady did a good job of conveying the message of what we have inside the arcade and the picture really sends the message that, hey, this is something worth checking out.”
The final result is a wall filled with video game characters, pinball machines and the accessories that come with the arcade business, all done in bright colors.
Tarleton says she has done 10 to 15 murals, most of them indoors, but never one like this.
“Yeah, definitely the largest. I’ve done a couple big interior ones but I think this is the tallest for sure,” Tarleton said.
Weiss considers it a positive addition to downtown Girard.
“100 percent. Yeah, 100 percent,” he said.
The mural is not yet lit up, but Berk says he’s working on that. Lights for the mural may be coming soon.