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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.


  • View of the famous Colony neon vertical marquee

The Colony Theater is a former art-deco style movie theater located on S. Park Avenue in the city of Winter Park, Florida. This theater opened in 1940 to cater to the entertainment needs of a local population hungry for movies. It housed one screen and five hundred seats. In the 1980s, the building was converted into an arcade with shops and restaurants as suburban, multi-screen theater complexes grew in popularity.

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.

"Historic Downtown Winter Park: A Walking Tour." Winter Park History Museum. Accessed August 20, 2016. http://www.winterparkhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/WalkingTour.pdf. "Colony Theater in Winter Park, FL." Cinema Treasures. Accessed August 20, 2016. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/14055. Snyder, Jack. "Pottery Barn To Keep Old Colony Theater Sign In Winter Park." Orlando Sentinel, May 17, 1999. Accessed August 20, 2016. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1999-05-17/business/9905150547_1_winter-park-ponce-inlet-building. Owens, Sherri M. "Pottery Barn May Sign On With Deal: Winter Park's Landmark Colony Theater Sign Could Stay, Advertising The New Tenant." Orlando Sentinel, January 10, 1999. Accessed August 20, 2016. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1999-01-10/news/9901080743_1_winter-park-colony-theater-pottery-barn.