The Park Theater

Picture Yourself At The Park!

The Park opened to great fanfare in 1938. Avon welcomed the new Park Theater with a parade. Footage of this parade was captured by Fox Movietone. It is believed to be one of the first movie theaters in the Rochester area to have air-conditioning. Theaters like the Park flourished until the early 1960’s when TV became a staple in people’s homes. Multiplexes sprung up, offering audiences more choices and amenities. The VFW took over the Park in the 1960’s, running it until the 1990’s. The Park survived until 2003, when the major movie studios switched to digital format to distribute movies. Digital projection equipment was prohibitively expensive and spelled the end for small town theaters. The Park was sold and was used for storage. In 2018, the building was purchased and the village received a Restore, NY grant to renovate and upgrade the Park Theater for use as a community theater and arts venue. The world has changed a lot since the heyday of the Park Theater. The footage captured by what was likely a very large motion picture camera on film, can now be captured and broadcast almost instantaneously by anyone with a smart phone. When the Park closed in 2003, Avon still had a video store. and “streaming” was not yet part of our world. YouTube was populated by kids posting videos of themselves doing crazy things. It is now one of the most popular search engines, and is used by all sorts of people to reach an audience. The future of the Park Theater will maintain it’s roots as a movie theater, but will be a much more multi-use venue!

Saving and restoring Avon's Park Theater

 

The Park Theater was last operated as a working movie theater in 2003, when the switch to digital distribution spelled the end for small town theaters like the Park.  The changes in both technology and society as a whole since then is mind boggling!  After extensive renovations and upgrades, my goal is to re-open the Park Theater Center for the Arts in 2019!

 

 
 

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