The historic Grand Junction landmark is on pace to under-go a large construction upgrade, officials are hoping the remodel will help shine up a downtown gem. A cornerstone to the community here in Grand Junction, the 91 year-old Avalon Theatre, where a big upgrade is just about to be in the works to keep residents streaming in on weekend nights.
It is not just the new seats or additions officials say will breathe new life into the Avalon, it's the memories which will be made in the building, binding Grand Junction residents together for generations to come, just as this historic building has for nearly a century.
Pamela McGurk, a resident of Grand Junction, said, "we would have popcorn and see those wonderful matinees and it was so safe and so small town, parents wouldn't come, and it was one of my best memories of fun things to do in my childhood."
But the new upgrades which need to be done to help preserve the Avalon require deep pockets, and it's an investment the Avalon Theatre Foundation director Robin Brown said will benefit the city in the long run.
"Yes it is a lot of money in this economy to put into a theatre, but the economic benefits of putting money into the theatre far outweigh the sum of money that is initially being put into the theatre."
Putting all this money into the Avalon is projected to bring growth opportunities for the theatre, and ultimately downtown businesses.
"Doubling the stage size, it does a lot of things; it brings larger acts, more space for Broadway shows we want to get." Brown said.
"So you can have two events going on simultaneously, two separate lobbies, two separate events, more user nights, and more ticket sales" Brown said.
Currently there just aren't enough seats to attract big acts, the magic number is above 1000 seats said Robin Brown.
"This puts us at 1150 seats as so that gets us into that next bracket that will capture larger performances that will bring in acts that haven't been coming through"
Foundation officials hope the chance to attract bigger acts will build community excitement and support for the upgrade, making for lifetime memories to be enjoyed by residents like Pamela McGurk and her family.
"So I really enjoy that it is still here, renamed, being preserved, and I think it is really important, so I’m very supportive of that and I have been using it since I’ve been here, when it has things available."
The total construction is slated for 16 million dollars, currently the project has 7 million in the bank to get the hammers swinging starting in May.
The Avalon foundation is reviving an old fundraising effort the building as seen before.
You can take part in the 'take a seat' program, and donate enough money to buy a new seat,
You’ll get a plaque with your name on that seat.
There are several other ways to get involved in fundraising efforts for the construction project as well, you can know more about them by visiting our web channel kkco11news.com where we have also posted a link to the Avalon foundation web site.