Before I get into some ideas, let me make a quick clarification in case it's not obvious:
We're not a movie theater.
We don't show movies. We do PLAYS. :)
Just wanted to save some of you the time you might have spent coming up with a really cool logo with movie stuff involved. :)
So....here's the scoop:
Even though we're a children's theater, we don't want to come across as a pre-school, either. Nothing too "cartoony" or elementary-looking.
We chose the name "Spark" because it conjures up phrases like "a spark of creativity"...."fanning a spark into a flame" (nurturing students into actors)...."getting back one's spark" (discovering a new, fun hobby, etc.)
We like simple....but we don't want to be a cliche', either. Other logos I've seen for companies that have the word "spark" in their name tend to overuse the same theme: a shiny little sparkly accent on the corner of a letter or word. It's a bit overused, I think. We'd like something a bit more inspired.
One final thought -- and I don't know how well this would work in execution -- but it might be worth taking a shot at:
You know those vintage, lighted metal signs that are full of clear light bulbs? (I'll include a photo of what I mean). I'm curious if that motif/idea can be included in this logo. The lights would be related to the "spark"....and the sign itself might evoke thoughts about theater.
(BTW, I'm always hesitant to offer that kind of direction because I don't want to limit your creativity. So please don't think that you have to include such a submission. It was just an idea and it might not even be a good one. If you feel like you could do something like that, I'd be interested in looking at a draft of it.)
The other image I'm including is a blatant ripoff of a graphic that I thought looked cool and I just mocked it up in Photoshop to see if it would work for us. If it speaks to you, see if you can come up with something more original.
That's a lot of information and I hope it gives you some great ideas! We're excited to see what you come up with!
UPDATE: The comedy/drama masks are a bit of a clip-art cliche' that a lot of theaters use . We'd like to avoid those in our design. Thanks!