Most of us remember when the "Cooper" Theatre reverted back to be the Avalon. Can you recall when the Avalon changed its name to the Cooper?

I can't. It was long, long before I was born. The building  was purchased  in the 1940s by the Cooper Theater Foundation. In 1947, the building's facade underwent renovations. Check out the original photo by Grand Junction photographer Robert Grant.

Robert Grant

For those of us born in the 1960s and 70s, the Cooper was known simply as that, the Cooper. We had never heard of the Avalon. For all we knew, it was just an old movie theater. Looking back, here is a short list of the movies, and please note the caliber, that Grand Junction residents saw at the Cooper Theater.

  • Star Wars
  • Superman
  • Return of the Jedi
Getty Images

In other words, the biggest movies hitting theaters at the time. The Cooper was the place to go.

Legend has it the Cooper Theater management closed to the balcony due to structural concerns. In reality, history will probably record that the balcony was closed due to the fact that people sitting on the main floor got tired of the "golden showers" courtesy of moviegoers peeing off the edge. I've heard this account more than once.

Ultimately, time did what it does, and newer and bigger theaters came to town. The Cooper has since reverted back to the Avalon, and this is proving to be a good thing.