Avenue Theater Revitalization Project
The Avenue Theater has been the heart of the Portola neighborhood since it opened in 1927. After closing its doors for good in the mid-eighties, this neighborhood gem has spent the past thirty years dark, dormant & decaying. That's all about to change though, as the Portola Neighborhood Association has been hard at work trying to restore the building's historic neon sign and attract a tenant to the theater.
The Avenue Theater sits in the figurative and literal center of the Portola's commercial corridor and is the tallest and most recognizable building around. After screening its last film in the mid-eighties, this landmark has spent the last thirty years making the sad transition from decadence to deterioration.
However, a brightly lit neon future is right around the corner thanks to the hard work and dedication of community leaders, City officials, and Portola Neighborhood Association.
Over the past several years, the Portola Neighborhood Association has continually fought to save and restore the theater. In 2015, the PNA came to an agreement with the building’s owners: We’d help them turn the neon back on, and in return, they'd empower us to activate the theater's retail
space and attract a tenant to the theater. With support from City leaders, we applied for a grant and won funding for the project in early 2016.
While the baseline improvements have been funded by the grant, the project has turned out to be more expensive than anyone could have imagined, and we need to raise funds for some of the essential pieces that might go missing otherwise. We need to raise funds for things like letters for the marquee, flashing neon, poster case lighting, and improving & activating the retail space.
This is a BIG project for the Portola and for the City. It is the biggest community investment project that the neighborhood has experienced, and it is one of the largest facade improvement project that the City has ever done. Our hope is to follow in the footsteps of the Fox Theater in Oakland, which first underwent a similar facade improvement project before growing into the cultural hub that it is today.
With your help, we can find someone who will open the doors of the Avenue Theater and create something unique for the neighborhood and the entire City to enjoy!
If you'd like to stay up to date with this project, sign up for our newsletter!