Doors open at Grand Junction’s Avalon Theatre; plenty of fun planned ahead | PostIndependent.com

Doors open at Grand Junction’s Avalon Theatre; plenty of fun planned ahead

Caitlin Row
crow@gjfreepress.com

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Avalon Theatre’s recent renovation included new seats, expanded seating (from 967 to 1,100), ADA-accessibility upgrades, upgraded acoustics in the main theater, new digital technology for movie screenings, a better heating and cooling system, a glass-faced addition with a roof-top terrace, a secondary multi-purpose room, and an elevator. It’s the largest performing arts center between Denver and Salt Lake City.

Individuals, families and businesses are still able to purchase engraved pavers to be installed in the floor of Avalon’s new roof-top terrace. Funds raised during the re-opening celebration will also be used to pay for items not in the original scope of the project, like the marquis, a movie projector for Encore Hall (the new multi-purpose room) and a curtain for Avalon Theatre’s main stage.

To donate to the Avalon Cornerstone Project online, visit www.avalontheatrefoundation.org.

Aptly nicknamed “the twins,” Grand Junction’s newly opened Avalon Theatre on Main Street is ready for business. Designers incorporated the original brick structure — dating back to 1923 — with a new glass-faced addition directly to the east. Avalon is now a melding of Western Slope history with new stories to come.

“Having a historic yet modern theater in our downtown will be a stimulus for the community,” said Bennett Boeschenstein of Grand Junction City Council to a crowd of more than 100 spectators attending the Grand Opening Film Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

“Let the show begin!”

Those attending the celebration spanned a variety of special-interest groups, government boards, donors, city staff and more. They listened to remarks by key players in Avalon’s redevelopment before touring the freshly finished facility with cake in hand.

“The excitement is crazy,” Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau executive director Debbie Kovalik said during the celebration.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” she added, particularly for the team of people working towards Avalon’s much needed upgrade over the last five years.

FUNDRAISING IS ONGOING

Avalon’s first phase of development cost $9.6 million, and fundraising is still ongoing. Just last week, Avalon Theatre Foundation was still hoping to bump its monetary support from $1.3 million to $1.6 million. John Halvorson, Avalon Theatre Foundation’s board president, happily announced Wednesday that the group already surpassed its goal.

Plus, proceeds from a variety of events at the Avalon through Sept. 28 will directly fund the recently completed revitalization effort.

Robbie Breaux, an Avalon Theatre Foundation member and donor, noted singing, live music and even burlesque will be part of the fun during the Avalon Grand Opening Community Celebration Weekend planned for Friday, Sept. 26, through Sunday, Sept. 28.

“It’s really going to be cool,” she said.

According to Robin Brown, Avalon Cornerstone Project’s development director, all proceeds from the upcoming celebration weekend will directly fund Avalon construction. Grand passes, which allow full access to all events spanning Sept. 21-28, cost $50 per person; day passes for next weekend cost $8 and family passes cost $25.

Volunteers are also still needed for Avalon’s grand re-opening weekend — Sept. 26-28. Email moabdeb@yahoo.com for information.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friday, Sept. 19: Watch “Land Ho!” at 10 a.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20: Watch “Land Ho!” at 10 a.m. Then Lynn Harrell, an award-winning cellist, will perform with Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra to a sold-out show.

Sunday, Sept. 21: “The Lego Movie” will play at 2 p.m., with “How to Train Your Dragon” to follow. Then watch “Land Ho!” at 7 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 22: Watch “Land Ho!” at 3 p.m. Then at 7:30 p.m., Rocky Mountain PBS will host a film, “Are We Crazy About Our Kids?” with a panel discussion to follow at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 23: Watch “Land Ho!” at 5 p.m. Dinner and a Movie follows at 7:30 p.m. with “Maleficent.”

Wednesday, Sept. 24: Watch “Land Ho!” at 5 p.m., then another showing is planned at 7 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 25: Watch “Land Ho!” at 10 a.m. Then Centennial Band will perform “Celebrating America” starting at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds from the performance will benefit the Avalon Cornerstone Project.

Check back with Grand Junction Free Press next Friday for more information about the Avalon Grand Opening Community Celebration Weekend Sept. 26-28.

For more information about the Avalon Cornerstone Project or to donate, visit http://www.avalontheatrefoundation.org.


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