The Avon

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City Opera House
City Opera House
The Avon, formerly the City Opera House, was built in 1879 by Milo L. Cleveland and his company. Cleveland also built a large paper and pulp mill in Glen Park for C.R. Remington and Sons Paper Company as well as the Cleveland Building and the Elks Building in Watertown. The Avon was located at 150-152 Arsenal Street approximately where the side wall of the Stream building is. The Opera House was remodeled into the Avon Theater in 1919.

The Avon Theater was probably best known for its Saturday matinées catering to the youth of the area. The management would promote two movies with a live piano player and contests during the intermission between movies.
The Avon Theater
The Avon Theater

During the 1950's the cost of admission was 25 cents. Popcorn, candy and sodas were very inexpensive - 10 cents for a soda.

In addition to youth matinées, movies such as "Bwana Devil" (first 3-D movie), "Elephant Walk" (with Elizabeth Taylor) and others catered to the parent crowd in the evenings.

Avon demolition, 1966.
Avon demolition, 1966.
The old Avon drew youth from Watertown and surrounding communities such as Brownville and Dexter. Bus service ran 25 cents and stopped at the old terminal behind the Hotel Woodruff. The bus service ran once an hour to Dexter and back on weekends.

The Avon Shoe Store was originally three doors up from the theater at 168 Arsenal Street, and was named after it so people would know where it was. They kept the name after their move to Public Square.

The Avon was demolished in the late 1960's during Urban Renewal.

See Also[edit | edit source]

Historic Structures in Watertown

Movie Theaters