Workers began dismantling the marquee at the Dodge Theater Tuesday.
The sign, which had begun to fall apart, was put up for sale by the building's owners, including a listing on an eBay auction.
By Tuesday afternoon, only one bid had been made on the eBay site. The bid of $490 does not meet the reserve price set by the owners and would not purchase the sign.
The owners explain in the eBay item description that the sign will be taken down piece by piece to salvage the exterior components. Workmen said they will set the pieces in the theater lobby.
The sign's framework is not included in the sale, as some has deteriorated and failed, which is the reason the sign is being removed. Other parts of the framework may be damaged during removal.
Workers were removing the many light bulbs from the marquee but most of the metal bases were rusted into the sockets. The sign's original neon tubes were either broken or expected to crumble during removal due to brittleness.
The listing also noted that the entire theater is for sale, but not as part of the eBay auction.
In response to an online question, owners declined to palletize and shrink wrap the sign's pieces for shipping. They offered, however, to meet the buyer, provide the pallets and wrap for free and "work for $10 an hour" to prepare the pieces for shipping.
The online auction is set to end just after noon Friday.
The Globe spoke to Dennis Veatch, development services director for the city of Dodge City, who said a letter had been sent to the owners of the Dodge Theater asking them to repair or remove the sign due to life safety concerns.
"We noticed that part of the sign had collapsed and was in danger of falling onto the sidewalk," Veatch said.
Dodge City has a property maintenance ordinance which requires owners to properly maintain their property, especially if it may cause danger to the public.
"The lower roof above the sign had collapsed and damaged the sign in the process. It needed to be repaired," Veatch said.
"I guess we hoped they'd repair it rather than remove it, but it's not the original marquee so that's a consideration too," he said.