Avo Playhouse

303 Main Street,
Vista, CA 92084

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Avo Playhouse

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This Quonset hut-style theater was opened in December 1948 and designed by architect S. Charles Lee.

After decades as a movie house, the Avo was closed. It sat dormant until Moonlight Stage Productions took over the theater and renovated the cinema for its live theatrical presentations.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 1, 2004 at 4:39 am

The Avo Theatre opened on 11th December 1948 with the movie “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes” staring Edward G. Robinson. The owner of the Avo was Mr Aberahiam Shelhoup who owned and operated a shop in Vista (His son is still alive and works in the store today).

The lobby of the theatre is in the shape of an avocado and being the town of Vista had many avocado groves, hence the name of the theatre. Although the exterior and lobby area still exist as first built, the auditorium has been stripped of any decoration it may have had (including the removal of the proscenium opening) and is now painted a dark blue/green colour. It continues in use as a small town community theatre producing small scale stage productions.

Above details sourced from the Vista Historical Society.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 28, 2005 at 1:42 am

The original seating capacity for the Avo Theatre was 700.

epeterson
epeterson on December 17, 2005 at 2:59 am

In September 2005, I purchased the original projection equipment and had it shipped to Salt Lake City, Utah. I’m in the process of restoring it. Sadly, the sound system wasn’t included.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 23, 2007 at 8:54 am

Advertised on Vista Way in September 1979.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 12, 2008 at 12:04 pm

This site mentions that Luz and Tony Duran built the Avo along with many other buildings in Vista.
http://tinyurl.com/3pc2vs

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