Athens Theatre

124 N. Florida Avenue,
DeLand, FL 32720

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Athens Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

“I am not well acquainted with the Athens Theatre in DeLand, Florida. I have driven by it many times, but have not been inside. I do know that restoration efforts are going on, and shows take place there from time to time.”

The theater was built around 1922 and the name relates to DeLand’s founders' dreams of having their small city be the "Athens of the South." (DeLand, county seat of Volusia County, Florida, is home to Stetson University and is about 20 miles west of Daytona Beach).

The Athens Theatre was renovated in 2008, and reopened in early 2009.

Contributed by Tom Brown

Recent comments (view all 35 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on January 27, 2009 at 7:15 pm

“remodeling the facade”….I wonder if this is the photo I’ve seen on the Athens Theatre website of the front of the building completely hidden? If so, it is an example of what was done in the 70’s to “modernize” the look though at least the building was not demolished to make room for another downtown parking lot. I applaud the City of DeLand and all of those involved in the fine renovation/restoration of this theatre built by local DeLand laborers in the 20’s. Check out the website and the slide show there…you will be amazed! I plan to visit the Athens in March and will report on my theatre trip to DeLand FL. And the theatre’s name was derived from the vision of DeLand’s founder, Henry DeLand, who sought to create a city that would be the “Athens of Florida”.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Patsy: The 1950 remodeling the magazine article referred to was the one that gave the Athens the facade that appears in the postcard view currently at the top of this Cinema Treasures page- the one that looks sort of like a drive-in’s screen tower.

jtrapp
jtrapp on January 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm

The Athens seems to be alive and well. Just picked up a flyer for events in Jan 09 and they are showing classic movies and hosting events. I live in the area and I’m going to try and check out a classic flick. Downtown Deland is a happening little place. Nice restaurants and bars. Apparently it used to be quite run down in the early 90’s so it’s nice to see come to life.

Patsy
Patsy on January 29, 2009 at 6:23 pm

rdsub: Nice to read that downtown DeLand is a happening little place nice with nice restaurants and bars now! I see you typed Deland and I have recently seen it typed as DeLand. Which is politically correct?

irvl
irvl on June 20, 2009 at 9:49 am

The status of the Athens should be changed to open.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 14, 2009 at 11:35 pm

The June 7, 1952, issue of Boxoffice devoted its Modern Theatre section to articles about remodeling, and one of the theaters featured was the Athens. The article said that the architects for the remodeling were Kemp, Bunch & Jackson, and that the new configuration of the auditorium provided space for 812 seats.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 19, 2010 at 9:04 am

My friend Donna who lives in nearby Deltona told me she saw Cosi Fan Tutti here recently. Of course I only wanted to know about the theater (I already know about Mozart…), and here it is! I love finding restored gems like this one.

sbeasley
sbeasley on October 26, 2010 at 6:26 pm

During the ‘50s and '60s, the Athens was owned by longtime DeLand resident Bill Tison, who also owned Bill Tison Auto Sales to the left of the cinema.

robboehm
robboehm on December 19, 2012 at 7:40 am

Amazing that the area can support a single screen theatre of this size.

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