35 North Main Street
Fillmore, Utah 84631
Marvin and Lynn Peterson built the Avalon Theatre in 1926 as a replacement for the Lynn Theatre on the other side of Main Street.
When the Fillmore Commercial and Savings Bank failed in 1933 as part of the Great Depression, it had no liquid assets but held the $7,000 mortgage on the Avalon Theatre. The McBride family, which owned the local lumber company and held stock in the bank, accepted ownership of the theater in lieu of cash. The new owners of the Avalon were Paul McBride, Mille McBride Dallas, Eleanor McBride Archer, and Helen McBride Sundstrom Rogers. Paul, the eldest, became manager and later bought the shares of the other three.
“Grandmother McBride and all of the cousins for many years went to the movies at the Avalon free of charge. The admission prices were 10 cents for children and 25 cents for adults. On the weekends the Avalon played to capacity crowds.”
During World War II, Paul McBride entered the service and the Avalon was managed by May Rowley McBride. When Paul returned, he made many improvements, including a wide screen, improved sound system, new seats, carpeting, a marquee, and a generator to compensate for power outages.
A fire in 1953 was contained in the furnace room, but caused extensive smoke damage.
Attendance at the Avalon dropped dramatically after a television translator facility was built near Fillmore in 1957.[1, 2]
Paul and May McBride operated the Avalon until 1969, when they sold it to their nephew, Jack McBride, and his wife, Edna. Jack and Edna continue to operate the Avalon Theatre as a family business.
In 2004 the Avalon still showed movies with 20 minute reels using two projectors, although the old carbon arc lamphouses were replaced with modern Strong Super Lume-X lamphouses.
2. "Chapter 10: Through the 1970s", A History of Millard County, by Edward Leo Lyman, Utah History Suite CD-ROM
3. "Avalon Theatre in Fillmore, UT", cinematreasures.org, November 2014