Avalon Theatre

SE 2nd Street,
Ava, MO 65608

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Additional Info

Functions: Furniture Showroom

Previous Names: Wilson Theatre, New Wilson Theatre

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Opened as the Wilson Theatre on August 10, 1925. In 1938 it suffered a major fire and was rebuilt, reopening on March 16, 1939 as the New Wilson Theatre with Tyrone Power in “Jesse James”. On May 26, 1939 it was renamed Avalon Theatre, it was operated by the Pettit’s Theatres. It was closed on October 18, 1954 with Charlton Heston in “Secret of the Incas”. The theatre seated 280. It was demolished in November 1954.

Contributed by Chris1982

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 4, 2016 at 3:01 pm

An article in the May, 1997, issue of the Douglas County Historical Society Journal (PDF here) says that the Wilson Theatre, located on the east side of the square, opened in 1925 and was originally operated by Henry S. Wilson and L. H. Pettit. A 1935 Sanborn map shows the theater in the second building south of Washington Street, which is currently occupied by a furniture store on the ground floor and the Ava Martial Arts Academy upstairs. The theater had a balcony.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 5, 2016 at 3:52 am

A timeline of Ava’s history that was published in the 2009 Chamber of Commerce Community Guide (large PDF here) gives additional information about this theater. It suffered a major fire in 1938, and was rebuilt and reopened the following year and renamed the Avalon. It closed in 1954.

dallasmovietheaters on January 8, 2022 at 6:08 pm

Mr. and Mrs. H.S. Wilson’s Wilson Theatre opened on the square on August 10, 1925. It reopened as the New Wilson Theatre on March 16, 1939 with “Jesse James.” On May 26, 1939, it was renamed the Avalon Theatre starting with the film, “Ghost Town Riders” supported by the Oswald cartoon, “Nellie - Indian Chief’s Daughter” and an episode of the “Lone Ranger” serial.

The Avalon then closed permanently on October 18, 1954 with “Secret of the Incas.” Shows were moved to the Star while the New Avalon was readied. The original Avalon building was razed in November of 1954 to make way for a modern theatre capable of showing widescreen CinemaScope films.

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