The Community League Hall is now closed
Our Beacon Heights Community Hall, located at 4418 118 Avenue, is a building rich in history. In 1950, the Ruptash family built and opened the 485 seat Avalon Theatre on, what was then, Clair Street and Alberta Avenue. The Avalon Theatre sported Beverly’s first neon sign and provided a selection of movies that changed every 3 days. Tickets cost 15¢ per child, 25¢ per student and 45¢ per adult. The Avalon Theatre closed in 1958. Afterwards, the building had many different roles including being used as a bowling alley, furniture store and seniors’ drop in centre. With support and personal sacrifice from families in our community that wished to see our community flourish, The Beacon Heights Community League was able to purchase the building in 1971 to use as the community hall. It has been used in this capacity ever since and has been host to countless community events and private functions. Some might argue that our community hall was once the heart of our neighbourhood.
Unfortunately, the building is aging and has suffered significant water damage in recent years. We did receive some money from insurance to repair the cosmetic damages but insurance will not cover the cost of fixing the structural problems. As it stands, fixing the hall of current damages is estimated to cost in excess of $600,000. There are also several repairs that may need to happen in order to bring the building up to code should we decide to take on such a large-scale renovation. The hall is also in need of updating. All-in-all, as a community, we are looking at an expensive proposition.
The community league voted in October 2016 to close the hall. Demolition will occur in the spring of 2017 and the land will be returned to the city for its consideration for future use. The community league will operate out of the Jubilee Park site, 12037-43 Street. Questions can be directed to the Vice President.
Historical information for this article was found in the book ‘Built on Coal’ by Lawrence Herzog which is available for purchase at the Beverly History Interpretative Centre or the Beverly Business Association for $25.