319 S. Michigan Street,
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I finally found some information on this old theater after extensively searching the web and getting nowhere. By luck, I found mention of this theater while going through the South Bend Civic Theater’s website. It turns out that a downtown development firm called Downtown South Bend, Inc. owns the old Avon building and is either giving it or selling it to the South Bend Civic Theater group.
Sadly, it sounds like the South Bend Civic Theater group is going to raze the Avon Theater and build two new theaters on the spot including a little 100-150 seat theater and a larger 300 seat theater. At least they’re using the land for a theater, though. I emailed the director of the South Bend Civic Theater group and he provided me with this information. I also learned from him that the Avon Theater does have a newer roof and one re-enforced side wall but that the interior is in lousy condition.
The Strand Theater opened on May 12, 1926 with May McAvoy in “"The Road to Glory”. It was equipped with a Kimball organ. It was originally built as a movie house, was outfitted for sound in 1929. On October 12, 1946 it was renamed Avon Theater following refurbishment. It ceased operations as a theater in the late-1960’s or early-1970’s. It remained vacant until November 2012, when it was demolished. The façade was saved to be used in another building.
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