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Historic Marysville Theater Partially Collapses During Restoration Work

The theatre, seen here with a temporary front facade, partially collapsed late Thursday.
Avalon Theatre
The theatre, seen here with a temporary front facade, partially collapsed late Thursday.

A years-long effort to restore a historic theater in uptown Marysville suffered a major setback Thursday night when part of the building collapsed. 
The non-profit organization Marysville Uptown Theatre has spent the last three years working on the Avalon Theatre building, with a goal of raising $3 million for renovations. In a video posted to Facebook, the group's executive director Sara Barr said the rear portion of the building crumbled when a deteriorated roof truss crumbled.

"It was damaged. We knew it was damaged. We had a structural engineer looking at it," Barr said. "It was being replaced. Unfortunately, God had other plans and it collapsed."

The collapse sent debris pouring into the alley immediately behind the building. It also led to the closure of Main Street in front of the theater Friday morning.

Speaking emotionally, Barr said renovation efforst would continue despite the setback.

"We will rebuild this. We will make the Avalon a stronger place for you all to be entertained, educated, and enriched through quality arts entertainment," Barr said. "But we’re going to need your help."

The theater first opened in 1936 and most recently served as a movie theater before closing several years ago. 

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.