Park Theatre

71 Genesee Street,
Avon, NY 14414

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Avon Park Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

A small village theatre located on the village square. Plain outside and inside but it had a comfortable feel to it. The theatre had some nice gumwood trim and entry doors. The woman who owned and ran it for the last six years kept it clean and tidy. It had sort of a homey atmosphere and we enjoyed seeing “Secondhand Lions” on its quite acceptable size screen. There were tables and chairs in the lobby area where you could sit and have coffee before the movie started.

“I knew of this theatre for 15 or more years. I’d always pass through the village at the wrong time of day and the theatre was always closed. A couple of years ago I passed through the village and I noticed a sign on the marquee advertising an auction two nights a week. I presumed the theatre had closed and become an auction house but this was not the case.

I found out later the theatre operated only on weekends and only in the winter — yes, the winter. When driving through the village in October, I noticed a for sale sign on the building, so naturally I called. Here’s what $74,900 buys in a small New York village. A theatre building containing the following: a 200 seat movie theatre, two small store fronts and a small second floor apartment. Unfortuately, there’s a 3 screen drive-in in the same village —this explains the summer shutdowns. The approx. 10 plex fifteen minutes away doesn’t help either.

We decided to check it out anyway. On a Saturday night in November of 2003 we and 12 others watched “Secondhand Lions”. The theatre wasn’t for me but would have been great for a retired person who dreamed of owning a theatre. Live in the apartment, try to rent the small store fronts and with luck make enough to pay the utilities and taxes. I thought, however, maybe I should submit this to Cinema Treasures to list in the theatres for sale section.

Here’s were the tragic part comes in. A business man who restores antique cars wanted the theatre for storage and made a verbal offer to the owner at slightly under asking price. The owner gave a verbal acceptance. The very next day an offer was made through the listing agent a full asking price by people who were going to keep the theatre open. Unfortunately, the verbal offer was binding and Avon has lost its theatre."

Contributed by Richard Grows

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

Patsy on August 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm

MJM: Sounds good…congrats and good luck. I hope to visit your community and maybe attend the upcoming September meeting.

SchineHistorian on September 13, 2010 at 8:52 am

Can anyone speak to the interior condition of the theater? Photos?

david williams
david williams on April 24, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I have an original 1913-1914 post card view of the Park Theatre in Avon, NY. The year is based on the movie poster in front for “White Vacquero”, which was introduced in 1913.
It may, or may not, be the same building as is there today, since it appears to be a 2-story (unsure because it shows the theatre building only, which is different than it looks today.
I would post a jpeg link here if I knew how, but have no idea how to do so.
Dave W>

markmc on April 25, 2011 at 5:54 am

Hi Dave W, thanks for dropping us a line, I am on the Park Theatre committee, and I know everyone would be very interested in seeing your picture “treasure”, please send to me via Email – .com – and I will be sure to get it posted for you,P.S> I think the building the current Park theatre is currently in was built in the 30’s, and I thought I remember hearing at a metting that it was named in memory of an earlier theatre in Avon, I am thinking that is the theatre that you have pictures of, very cool either was – good history of the town, and the theatre(s), Thanks again, MJM

Patsy on April 26, 2011 at 6:18 am

Would love to see vintage photos of this theatre at both locations in Avon. Did it ever have a vitrolite exterior of that era? Vitrolite were colored glass panels and the term can be found via a Google search.

david williams
david williams on June 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Hi All:

Back in April ‘markme’ asked to send him a pic of the ‘old’ Avon Theatre that I have. He said he would post it. I gladly scanned it and sent it off to him back then. I haven’t seen it posted here yet. When I emailed a few weeks later, he said he’d been busy.
I just want y'all to know that I sent it to him back then, and it is not me! Dave W>

markmc on June 25, 2011 at 7:09 am

The photo has been posted on here for a while, it is listed in the “Photos” tab up top, enjoy, it’s a pretty cool picture from times past, MJM

Patsy on June 25, 2011 at 7:28 am

Yes, a very cool picture from times past!

david williams
david williams on June 25, 2011 at 10:19 am

I really want to apologize to markmc. I did not know about that ‘photos click-on feature’ on the pages, and thought only that the initial page had the photo(s). I am glad to know about it, now I will enjoy checking to see what other phtotos show for theatres I like.
Thank you Mark! Dave W>

markmc on June 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm

No need to apologize, no offense taken, best wishes, MJM

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