Park Theatre

71 Genesee Street,
Avon, NY 14414

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Avon Park Theater

A small village theatre located on the village square, the Park Theatre was opened July 30, 1938. It was a replacement to the 250-seat Park Theatre across the street which had opened prior to 1914 (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures). 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 where 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."

In July 2018 the Park Theatre got a new owner. Two grants have been recieved for a restoration of the theatre and a ‘not-for-profit’ group is being set up to operate it.

Contributed by Richard Grows

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on April 26, 2011 at 9:18 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.

Bob D'Angelo
Bob D'Angelo on June 3, 2017 at 11:18 pm

An effort has started again to save this theater. Please sign the petition. https://www.change.org/p/save-the-park-theater?recruiter=9020601&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=des-md-google-no_msg

markmc
markmc on June 4, 2017 at 11:03 am

Hi Bobby, good to hear there is activity again with this, I would be more than happy to assist in any manner to get some momentum going again, I checked the petition and it says its closed now for signing, if you communicate with Ann Younger, please let her know, and plz keep me posted, thanks!

Bob D'Angelo
Bob D'Angelo on June 7, 2017 at 5:46 pm

The Petition was closed online. An effort to gain signatures locally on paper is underway. A recent walk through has been done by Ann. She also has met with a county representative who works on Main street revitalization.

markmc
markmc on June 7, 2017 at 9:47 pm

Thats great news, please keep me posted, and let me know if I can assist in any way!

Bob D'Angelo
Bob D'Angelo on July 29, 2018 at 4:05 pm

The Park Theater in Avon has a new owner and vision. The Theater celebrates it’s 80th birthday on 7/30/18. It’s opening day was celebrated with a parade in the village in1938. The theater was one of the first in the Rochester area to have Air Conditioning. A Main St and restore NY grants have been secured. Restoration will begin soon.

AnnY
AnnY on November 10, 2019 at 11:44 am

I am the new owner of the Park Theater. I would like to update just about everything on this page about the theater. How can I do this?? The picture shown is of the previous Park Theater located across the street, which closed when the “new” Park Theater opened in 1938.

Patsy
Patsy on November 10, 2019 at 2:02 pm

Welcome to CT. I think whoever added this theatre wrote the historical piece. Not sure if it can be or should be changed though you certainly can add current information in your posts going forward.

Bob D'Angelo
Bob D'Angelo on November 10, 2019 at 5:00 pm

I just added pictures of marquee with neon restoration.

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