Plans to Renovate Avalon Theatre Make Progress
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- The Avalon Theatre Foundation is one step closer to their goal of renovating the historic gem in downtown Grand Junction.
The organization is currently in the educational phase, which is a stage officials say is crucial. They plan take to the streets over the next three months, to get the word about the upcoming construction.
“There is some necessary maintenance that has to happen and there is just some stuff that has come due,” said Robin Brown of the Avalon
Theatre Foundation. “It needs a new roof, new lighting and sound, and then, on top of that the city has been trying to figure out which economic benefit is best for the theatre.”
The foundation is aspiring to raise $10 million so they can complete the $16 million construction project.
It’s a facelift resident Diann Admira hopes will enhance a place she holds near to her heart.
“It will not be for just one group or one individual but the whole community of Grand Junction,” said Admira, a lifetime Grand Junction resident.
Admira danced on the Avalon’s stage when she was just 5 years old, and in 1948, went on her first date there with her husband.
“It’s just a wonderful historical theatre that we need to continue on with,” said Admira.
However, the organization has hit a slight bump in the road.
“We did a survey in October and discovered that most people don't understand the project,” said Brown.
Before the foundation begins construction in May, they want to make sure the community is on board and clear on what the renovations will be and how they are paying for it.
“Currently, we have $3 million from the city, $3 million from the
Downtown Development Authority and then $1 million has been raised by the Avalon Theatre Foundation,” said Brown.
Officials say that first $7 million will go towards inside the theatre walls, such as getting the building up to safety guidelines, and upgrading the elevator as well as replacing the old seats with new ones.
“It’s kind of in disrepair and needs to be updated,” said Brown. “It needs to be brought into the 21st century.”
Brown said the next phase, that will come once they see more donations, will begin the addition. They plan to add on to the east side of the building, where they will build dressing rooms and expand the lobby. It will also encompass adding a multi-purpose room, and a terrace.
“With the renovation, the theatre will shine and be the gem of downtown,” said Brown. “It will kind of be a destination for people all around to come into downtown.”
The renovations will also include adding 200 additional seats, which will make the Avalon Theatre a venue large enough to house more well-known performers that skipped over Grand Junction in the past.
The foundation plans on talking with organizations and clubs around town about the renovation in the near future. If you would like schedule a meeting, go to Avalontheatrefoundation.org.