How many “Doctor Who” fans does it take to change the light bulbs at the Empire State Building? Maybe we’ll find out soon.
New Yorkers are used to passing beneath the iconic skyscraper and wondering what its lighting schemes mean. Some nights it’s obvious, like when it lights up in the colors of the team that wins the Super Bowl. Other times the colors are a mystery: Why, for example, was the building cast in orange on Sept. 16?
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“Doctor Who” fans hope to be among those in the know on Nov. 23, the day they are petitioning to have the lights shine TARDIS blue in honor of their favorite show’s 50th anniversary. (The TARDIS is the doctor’s time traveling space craft.)
Adam Kaufman, a member of the fan group NY SciFi & Fantasy, is the man behind the change.org petition.
“The Empire State Building regularly uses their spectacular light show to celebrate special moments in pop culture, such as sports events, the 15th anniversary of The Lion King, and Wrestlemania, as well as all the holidays and occasions it’s more known for being lit up for. As far as we know, however, they’ve never lit up to celebrate a SciFi show. What better place to start than the iconic series Doctor Who?” reads the petition.
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The petition has received more than 17,500 signatures.
While all New Yorkers feel a little ownership over the Empire State Building, it’s actually the property of the private Empire State Building Co., which decides who gets what lights. The company didn’t respond to requests for comment on whether the “Doctor Who” fans have a chance. But its website offers a long list of rules about why it will and won’t change colors.
It doesn’t recognize birthdays, anniversaries, or weddings, or use company logos. It also doesn’t celebrate religious or political figures.
But it has recognized television tie-ins. Those orange lights on Sept. 16? It turns out they were in recognition of Nickelodeon and its 10th annual Worldwide Day of Play.
How do we know? Because the building’s website also solves the great New York mysteries: How the building gets a new color each night.