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And Down Goes the Avalon

Categories: News
It's been a long time coming, but the Avalon Theater is finally being demolished.The Post-Dispatch's Marlon A. Walker reported last night that heavy machinery is on site, and that part of the structure has already been brought down.

Avalon interior.jpg
The Avalon's interior in 2007.
The once beautiful movie palace has been closed since 1999 and began rotting soon after, as owner Greg Tsevis let the property decay while waiting for someone to pay him a milllion dollars for it, despite the interior being full of filthy mattresses and heavy mildew. Riverfront Times reporter Keegan Hamilton untangled the story of Tsevis' ownership back in 2007, with a follow-up in 2009 when the city filed suit against Tsevis for the state of his property, which paved the way for the building's eventual destruction.


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7 comments
Frida
Frida

New and creative? In St.Louis? I doubt it. Make room for another walgreen's.

Oh
Oh

I don't know if it was ever considered a movie palace, even before the ugly 1970s renovation. Still, it's too bad it couldn't be saved. At least we still have the Hi-Pointe and Tivoli theaters. In my hometown (maybe a third the size of St. Louis) every single theater built during the golden age of Hollywood has disappeared.

Ajpunkahontas
Ajpunkahontas

There is something, besides the obvious, awry here. In August, the price was dropped to around $250,000.00, prompting at least four parties seriously interested in purchasing it. Somehow, the Avalon was still not on the landmark list which made it impossible to obtain historic tax credits. In this economy, no banks wanted to invest in this without those tax credits. The Avalon could have and should have been saved.

Unfortunately, this is what St. Louis does. The city as a whole, huffs and puffs about how proud we are of our heritage and remembering what made St. Louis great, yet we do this kind of crap going all the way back to the building of the arch when we decimated the original St. Louis village to put the arch and it's grounds on top of it. St. Louis never tires of talking about it's World's Fair connection or Sally Benson, who wrote Meet Me In St. Louis, yet what did we do? Let her house on Kensington Avenue rot until it HAD to be torn down.

Egolterman
Egolterman

Million dollar price is a 'smokescreen', City could have made him a reasonable offer. Other cities and towns restore/reopen such places, not as single screens but multi-use. They are economic catalyists. I took a restorer through, asked the usual suspects to help. No. The Avalon is not in the central corridor-grand avenue to Skinker, Manchester to Delmar.  It is of no interest to them'. None go outside the central corridor. May be to Botanical Gardens. Another $100 million will go into Forest Park, and mutliples for another Kiener Plaza re-do, and 'sprinkled' around the Arch. North & South St. Louis suffer.

Ajpunkahontas
Ajpunkahontas

Well, Mack, enjoy the barren cracked lot riddled with trash and weeds you are going to be staring at for the next several years.

TheMack
TheMack

So long and good riddance.  It's been an eyesore in S. St. Louis for 12 years and I'm of the opinion it has kept the area from revitalizing.  Who would put something new and creative down there when the closest comparable is that thing?

Now there's an opportunity to do something more creative and get some synergy going between Southtown Pub, Famous Bar, The Mack, and the shopping areas across the street.

Kitty
Kitty

Mack, you know you're being awfully optimistic hoping for "something new and creative," right? Even if the economy and the construction industry weren't in the tank, we'd still likely get a surface parking lot, since that is what we always get in St. Louis. Yet we never seem to have enough parking somehow...

And here I was hoping to win the lottery and buy it and rehab it! RIP Avalon. :(

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