Historic Maryland theater benefits from $2 million renovation

The Avalon Theater on Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, Maryland is a local institution that, until recently, had been in a serious state of disrepair. After an ambitious fundraiser championed by the theater's independent operators, the space has been restored to its original opulence and now benefits from a series of energy efficient upgrades.

The non-profit theater's board of directors launched the Avalon Legacy Campaign in 2009 and have since raised more than $2 million from roughly 1700 contributors. The renovation and restoration efforts have been enacted incrementally since, beginning with a restoration of the massive mural in the theater's lobby.

As well, the board was able to establish the Avalon Cafe within the space, allowing the theater to add staff and increase revenues through food and drink sales.

The biggest impact comes in the form of the newly installed HVAC system that was constructed last year. According to the organization's press release, it anticipates that this will be the biggest cost-cutting element of the Avalon's renovation as it will increase the spaces energy efficiency while cutting down on monthly utility costs.

"Over the last several years, the Avalon has worked hard to succeed in attaining this goal, holding numerous events, a phonathon, meeting with individual donors and sending direct mail appeals," wrote Bill Oberdorfer, the campaign's executive director, and Juliet Zucker, campaign chair, in the email message to the Chevy Chase Patch.

For business and home owners who are interested in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly renovation for their properties, an energy audit from an inspection contractor can help detect what steps will be necessary.