Avalon Fine Arts Theater
1500 E. Lake Street,
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Built on the site of the 1909 Royal Theatre, a wooden structure. In 1913 it was renamed Seventh Ward Theatre and was destroyed by fire on January 25, 1924. (later Seventh Ward Theatre/Rosebud Theatre, Reno Theatre). It was given a makeover in 1924 to the plans of architectural firm Ekman, Holm & Company and renamed Avalon Theatre. Seating was provided for 300 and it operated until 1936 when it was demolished. (this has its own page on Cinema Treasures).
In 1937 a new Avalon Theatre was built on the site to the plans of architect Perry E. Crosier which was given a Streamline Moderne style. The facade features an interesting hulking corner tower with neon light boxes.
It became the Fine Arts Theater from 1955. By 1982 and until 1985 it operated as an adult porn movie theatre, known as the Avalon Fine Arts Theater.
Since 1986 it has housed a theater puppet ‘company’ called ‘In the Heart of the Beast’. They create and perform large scale puppet performances. They are very active in the community and “employ” many volunteers and school children. The highlight of their year is the annual May Day parade.
It is a great renewal effort for a building that had become a nuisance to the community. The HOBT is wonderful program that is one of the gems of E. Lake Street.
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