71 Genesee Street,
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Located in the heart of the village of Avon, NY. The Park Theatre opened with great fanfare on July 20, 1938. It replaced the ‘first’ 250-seat Park Theatre built in 1912 across the street (which has its own page on Cinema Treasures). The Park Theatre originally had over 400-seats and would show 6-8 different movies per week. Open every day of the week, there would be 2-3 movies on Sunday & Monday, another two movies on Tuesday thru Thursday and another 2-3 movies Friday & Saturday. The movies were an escape from the drudgery of everyday life during the Depression and World War II.
In 1946, Kallet Theatres signed a 15 years lease and took over the management of the Park Theatre. Being part of a chain, it was much easier to obtain first run movies. By 1960, small town, single screen movie theatres were often abandoned as television had become a mainstay in people’s homes. The daughter of the original owner sold the building to the Avalon VFW. The VFW intended to use the building as their meeting hall, but the community begged them to keep it as a movie theatre. The VFW reopened the theatre in 1965, and ran it for the next 30 years. Two other owners tried to run it from 1996 until 2003, when it was sold. The owner used the building for storage. In July of 2018, 80 years after the ‘new’ Park Theatre opened, it was sold yet again.
The new owner is renovating the theatre to a more multi-use layout. The plan is to show independent and classic movies, with a concession selling some more unique, upscale offerings. The theatre will also be rented for parties, private screenings and corporate events. Reopening is planned for the summer of 2021.
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