The Colony Theater is located on South Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida. Opened in the 1940s, the theater is from a time where the city was divided into two distinct sections based upon economic standing and race. The art-deco building is now home to a Pottery Barn retail outlet, but the original neon marquee remains. It is one of many buildings of historical interest in the Downtown Winter Park Historic District.
Backstory and Context
In 1999, Pottery Barn renovated the interior, and the Colony now functions as a Pottery Barn retail outlet. The renovation project, overseen by Trammell Crow Co. and designed by Scott Partnership and Arcanum Architects of California, replaced the second and third floors with a vaulted ceiling and mezzanine display areas. Despite the conversion, the distinctive Colony neon marquee is still visible today; the color of the 38-ft-tall sign, however, was changed from red to grey.
As one of the stops on the self-guided walking tour of Winter Park, provided by the Winter Park Historical Association (WPHA), this theater represents the public's interest in movies during the 1940s. It dates from a period when Winter Park was economically and racially segregated. The Colony Theater is one of many buildings of historical interest in the Downtown Winter Park Historic District; the district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.