Avalon Theatre

645 Main Street,
Grand Junction, CO 81501

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Related Websites

Downtown Grand Junction Association -- Cinema at the Avalon (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Cooper Foundation

Architects: Duane Conner, Frank W. Frewen

Firms: Mountjoy & Frewen

Functions: Dance, Live Performances, Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent)

Styles: Colonial Revival, Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Cooper Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 970.778.3088

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News About This Theater

Avalon Theatre

The Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction, Colorado was built in 1922, opening on January 5, 1923. It was designed in a Colonial Revival style.

It was remodeled internally in 1947 to the plans of architect Duane Conner in an Art Moderne style. It reopened as the Cooper Theatre on August 24, 1947 and closed in 1989. It is open today as the Avalon Theatre and screens independent and foreign films.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Avalonkid on March 17, 2007 at 11:55 pm

I work in the Avalon daily. Construction started in 1922, finishing in 1923. It was built by the architecture firm from Denver called “Mountjoy and Frewen” in Denver. It was designed by Frank W. Frewen.

The theater was bought in the mid 40’s by the Cooper Theater Foundation, who, in 1947, went on to do a drastic renovation of the building’s facade. The balcony was closed sometime in the late 70’s or early 80’s. A man came in the theater a while back, telling me the balcony was closed because his friend threw a cat off of it into the crowd below. The cooper foundation went under in the eighties, leaving the building in the cities hands, who considered demolishing it. Citizens of the city then raised the money for restoration. The building was renovated in 1996. Hope this helps.

Avalonkid on March 18, 2007 at 7:26 pm

Btw, I was wrong, the Cooper found. bought the theater in the early 40’s. They called the Avalon, as well as a few other theaters in CO, the Cooper from 1947 to the late eighties.

philbertgray on November 6, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Photo of The Avalon Theatre

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lrostochil on April 20, 2008 at 7:58 pm

My grandfather, Duane Conner, was an architect in the 40’s and 50’s (and worked mostly in Oklahoma City), and I found a resume of his that states that he did the renovation to this theater in 1947. Here’s what his resume says:

“Complete rebuilding of condemned building, leaving only side walls and roof trusses in place”

Upon completion of this renovation, the theater seated 1,250 patrons, and the entire renovation cost $180,000, quite a sum back then, I think.

Does anyone have photos of the building as it looked after this renovation? I’m trying to get photos of as many buildings that he worked on as possible and am curious to see how he altered this grand old theater. He was very modern in his sensibilities, so it would be odd if his renovation would have kept the building looking as it did when it was built (and as it looks now).

Thanks for your help.


Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 7, 2009 at 2:14 am

The Cooper Foundation bought the Avalon Theatre in 1943, according to Boxoffice of August 7 that year. The foundation had already been operating the theater under lease for several years, and also operated a small, second-run house called the Mission in Grand Junction (the Mission was renamed the Joy in 1945.)

The April 5, 1947, issue of Boxoffice reported on the plans to remodel the Avalon. The projected cost was about $100,000, though that appears to have been for only the work on the auditorium, which had been approved by the CPA, the Federal agency that allocated building materials which were in short supply during the post-war period. The foundation also planned to build new rest rooms, remodel the lobby, renovate the front and install a new marquee as soon as approval could be obtained.

Some earlier information about the Avalon was repeated in Boxoffice’s “Twenty Years Ago” feature in their issue of January 1, 1949. Twenty years earlier, the Avalon had been taken over by the Rex Amusement Company, operators of the Majestic Theatre in Grand Junction. The item referred to the Avalon as “…the largest combined standard theater and motion picture theatre between Pueblo and Salt Lake City.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 26, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Although the three arched windows above the entrance and the massy base bear some resemblance to the Romanesque Revival style, I’d say this somewhat eclectic building is predominantly Colonial Revival in style.

In 1923, architect Frank W. Frewen was a partner in the firm of Mountjoy & Frewen with Frederick E. Mountjoy. The firm was best known for the numerous school buildings it designed.

rivest266 on March 24, 2019 at 12:55 pm

This opened on January 5th, 1923. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on March 24, 2019 at 1:17 pm

a quick drone flight over the theatre using Google Earth Studio.

rivest266 on April 1, 2019 at 5:34 pm

This theatre stopped showing movies as the Cooper in 1989 along with the Mesa theatre and the Chief Drive-In as UA closed then down when the Carmike 7 cinemas opened.

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