Avalon Theater

2473 South Kinnickinnic Avenue,
Milwaukee, WI 53207

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spectrum
spectrum on September 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Direct Link to the Avalon Theatre webpage:

http://www.timescinema.com/avalon-theater.html

spectrum
spectrum on September 25, 2014 at 3:25 pm

According to this May 2014 article, the renovation is well underway, with reopening planned for August:

http://www.jsonline.com/business/a-star-is-reborn-restoration-of-landmark-avalon-theater-in-full-swing-b99278646z1-260962901.html

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on August 23, 2014 at 7:02 am

Website: http://www.timescinema.com/

LouRugani
LouRugani on April 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm

A new traditionally-styled 24-by-24-foot aluminum marquee and vertical sign is planned by owner Lee Barczak for his Avalon Theatre, expected to reopen this summer after a 14-year dark spell.

The Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission says the bronze-toned vertical will spell AVALON in large red letters trimmed in frosted gold and was designed by Ascend Design in Muskego, Wisconsin. Though not a replica of the original vertical sign, it honors the theatre’s era and heritage. Energy-saving electronic LED lighting will be used on attraction boards, “Not features found on historic theater signs, but increasingly necessary to meet the needs of the movie theater business today,” according to a MHPC spokesman.

Ascend Design’s goal with the vertical: “glorif(y) the existing architecture while paying homage to both the aesthetics and principles of the atmospheric type movie theaters of the 1920s…combining elements of the existing design with the use of modern materials and technological components,” according to the plan, and will cost about $50,000 out of the project’s total $1.8 million cost.

LouRugani
LouRugani on November 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

From Real Estate, Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Renovation work finally begins for Avalon Theater

A $1.8 million project to renovate and reopen the long-closed Avalon Theater in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood began recently. The project, which has been planned for years, could be completed in time for the theater to open in May. “We’ve started work on the exterior,” said Lee Barczak, the owner of the Avalon Theater. The work that is under way includes roof and exterior masonry work, he said. Barczak, who is also the president and founder of Greendale-based Morgan Kenwood Advisors LLC, also said he is in the process of signing contracts with contractors to do the interior work for the project.

Barczak bought the theater in 2005. His plans to remodel and reopen the theater, which closed in 2001, were delayed when funding sources dried up during the Great Recession. “We had a project ready to go before (the Great Recession),” he said. “That put everything on hold.”

The building, located at 2469-83 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., was built in 1928. “It’s actually in quite good shape as far as the structure goes,” Barczak said. But it needs significant interior upgrades. The redevelopment project will create two movie theaters, one with 240 seats and the other with 70.

All of the interior infrastructure and utilities will be replaced. The project will also include a new kitchen, new concession stands and new bathrooms. The theater will have a bar that will serve food that movie-goers can have served at their seats. Tables will be built into the seat rows. The Avalon Theater will show first-run films, Barczak said.

Last year Barczak formed the Neighborhood Theater Group and acquired the Times Cinema at 5906 W. Vliet St. in Milwaukee and the Rosebud Cinema at 6823 W. North Ave. in Wauwatosa, after those theaters had financial problems in 2011 and were closed after Madison-based AnchorBank foreclosed on the properties.

Barczak said he has worked to improve the relationship between the Times and the Rosebud and Hollywood and is now showing first-run movies at those theaters. “We hired a professional booking agency,” he said. “They’ve worked with us to reestablish our position and credibility.”

rwwing
rwwing on July 24, 2013 at 11:44 am

Looking for photos of theatre pre 1965. Used to go there as kids, lived block away.

d0nut
d0nut on March 16, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Here is a link to the sale page:

http://www.badgerauction.com/events/auction-detail/?id=198774

d0nut
d0nut on March 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I went to the sale viewing today. It was more than a little depressing to see the mess it has become.

I’m not thrilled with the idea of it being stripped but the alternative is for it to just rot away as is.

There was a “no photography inside” sign posted but I may have missed it on my way in…. ;)

nevermix
nevermix on March 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm

http://www.badgerauction.com/events/auction-detail/?id=198774

Sad news for Avalon fans – It looks like they are auctioning off everything inside the building. I had such hopes that the beautiful Avalon would make a comeback.

nectarsis
nectarsis on August 20, 2012 at 10:22 am

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/print-edition/2012/07/20/avalon-rehab-may-begin-this-year.html

Hope perhaps (FINALLY)?

PCino
PCino on April 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

Drove past the Avalon (4/21) today doing business in the area and the theatre looked dismal! The marquee,what’s left of it, was all broken up, the glass entry doors are boarded up with a black painted piece of wood and the display cases are broken and the light sockets within them are exposed. So, is the Avalon totally abandoned now? Certainly not the same as the picture Chuck1231 shared with us a year ago! Heart rendering :(

d0nut
d0nut on February 9, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Here is a page from Organ Piper Pizza here in Milwaukee (Greenfield) claiming to have part of the Avalon organ:

http://www.organpiperpizza.com/wurlitzer.htm

Can anyone confirm?

rivest266
rivest266 on October 10, 2010 at 12:40 pm

No ad on May 1, 1929 for the Avalon,
oldest ad is at the bottom left of this page at View link

LouisRugani
LouisRugani on April 19, 2010 at 6:15 am

Avalon Theatre’s future uncertain
(Bay View Compass, April 1, 2010)

The Avalon Theatre may be sold to another owner or operator, according to 14th District Alderman Tony Zielinski, who said he’s still working to get a movie theater open somewhere on Kinnickinnic Avenue.

“We’ve been trying to set up to expedite a sale to another individual to open up the deal, or a lease, or a lease with option to purchase, or something, so we can get something going. And right now, if we’re not able to work out a deal on the Avalon, and it doesn’t look like anything’s going to happen with the Avalon, then we’re looking at a fallback position to get something else open on KK,” Zielinski said.

In March, Zielinski said he’d met with Avalon owner Lee Barczak three times in the past four months, reiterating his support for a tax incremental finance district to help with Avalon redevelopment. In 2005, Zielinski supported a $75,000 grant to help offset Avalon renovation costs.

Zielinski did not identify the individual to whom he’s looking to expedite a sale, but said the person has “plenty of experience” in Milwaukee. “This is somebody else that’s operated theaters before.”

Barczak bought the Depression-era atmospheric movie palace at 2469-83 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. from Craig Ellsworth, who then built Carleton Grange Pub in St. Francis. Over the past five years, Barczak made public several modified plans to renovate and reopen the Avalon. But when those plans didn’t appear to move forward, he said they were prevented because he could not secure sufficient financing in a tight credit environment.

According to city assessment data, the Avalon property has over $62,000 in unpaid property taxes and penalties for 2008 and 2009. The property is assessed at just over $1.1 million.

Zielinski offered no timeline.

“It’s up to these individuals. I know this person I’m dealing with, he’s very interested in it, as I am,” Zielinski said. “But we want to exhaust all possibilities with the Avalon first, because that’s, obviously, the best place to have the theater.”

Barczak declined a request for interview in February, saying by email only that he was working on several possibilities.

(www.onelist.com/group/WisconsinTheatres)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 14, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Here is an October 1970 ad from the Milwaukee Journal:
http://tinyurl.com/yz82anl

ProjectionistTimmyBoy
ProjectionistTimmyBoy on June 14, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Just to clarify- I’m looking for close ups of just the box office but any old pics of the theatre (like the two posted above by Lost Memory) will be appreciated.

ProjectionistTimmyBoy
ProjectionistTimmyBoy on June 14, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Does anyone have a picture of the beautiful old box office that used to be in front of the theatre? Anyone who lived in Bay View when the Avalon was still operating remembers it and the life sized Crypt Keeper that occupied it.

It was a sad day when I walked past it to see nothing but an empty space where it used to be. I hope somebody had the heart to save it so it didn’t end up in a scrap pile somewhere.

I want to feature the Avalon Theatre is all its past glory on the cover of a comic book I’m developing with an artist friend of mine but I can’t find any pics of the old box office for reference.

Please E-mail me any pictures you may have or any info to point me in the right direction.

MiltonSmith
MiltonSmith on February 16, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Triplex? that would be terrible. chop it up further, great idea.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 3, 2008 at 10:56 am

So he’s going to triplex the place.

Fabulous.

If he needs more screens he could build better ones by converting another part of the building, as was the case with Chicago’s successful Music Box. He could also build them on adjacent land if it is available. Two small cinemas don’t require very much property. The cinema business learned in the 70’s and 80’s that new screens hacked out of old theatres are oddly proportioned and don’t make for a great experience.

By taking these suggestions he will have better presentation, and the theatre won’t get screwed up.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 3, 2008 at 10:04 am

Avalon theatre web site listed in 8/20/07 comment is gone now. That is not a good sign.

Captainp
Captainp on August 20, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Latest news, from 3 weeks ago, is that they are planning a “theatre, hotel, and restaurant”. Grand openings are being planned. See the news here: http://theavalontheatre.com/news.htm

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 21, 2006 at 3:35 pm

What a punk.

Oh well. It looks like the interior is substantially intact, and that is a far bigger battle than some metal lettering and a box office.

JimRankin
JimRankin on August 20, 2006 at 11:47 pm

Yes, sad to say, the island box office as well as the name sign were removed by the previous owner. He was determined to let residents know that he was going to convert the theatre to office space if the city continued to refuse his applications for liquor and cabaret licenses(he never got the licenses). He had large plackards mounted over the attraction boards of the marquee advertising “Office Space For Rent” but it appears that there was no progress to such conversion indoors at the time of sale to the current owner. No doubt ticket sales, when they resume, will be handeled from a table in the ticket lobby as they have been for over 20 years now, though it is possible to reconstruct the box office. The MODJESKA did just that about ten years ago.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 20, 2006 at 4:46 pm

It looks like the box office was removed, judging by photos posted on the theatre’s web site. Anyone know why this happened?