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One screen closed at Avalon after air conditioning fails

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The latest victim of the region’s crippling heat wave: the District’s oldest movie theater.

The Avalon Theatre, at 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW, announced Monday that one of its two screens, its upstairs screen, is closed indefinitely because the air conditioning in the theater “failed beyond repair.”

“Unfortunately, we are still gathering information on the best course of action as we now know it will be a costly and time-consuming replacement process,” the theater management said in a statement. “Considering the ongoing high outdoor temperatures, we cannot run shows in our upstairs theater. So we are now down to only one screen for movies until fixes are made.”

The downstairs theater, which the statement described as “nice and cool,” remains open.

On the National Register of Historic Places, the Avalon opened in February 1923 as the Chevy Chase Theatre. The name was changed to the Avalon in 1929 when it was purchased by Warner Bros. and “wired for sound” as the movie industry emerged from the silent-film era.

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