The Auburn Avenue Theater sits vacant and boarded up on Jan. 3, 2022, after being condemned due to safety concerns stemming from the demolition of the Max House Apartment complex next door. Photo by Henry Stewart-Wood/Sound Publishing

The Auburn Avenue Theater sits vacant and boarded up on Jan. 3, 2022, after being condemned due to safety concerns stemming from the demolition of the Max House Apartment complex next door. Photo by Henry Stewart-Wood/Sound Publishing

Auburn Avenue Theater gets ‘red-tagged’

Due to nearby demolition, facility must be evaluated for safety by structural engineers.

The Auburn Avenue Theater received a condemnation notice following the demolition of the Max House Apartments building next door, according to the City of Auburn.

The notice means no one is able to occupy the building until it is deemed structurally sound, according to the city. Although the theater did not share a wall with the Max House Apartments, the building was important to the structural integrity of the theater, according to the city.

Before anyone can step foot in the building, much less see a performance, the theater has to be evaluated to ensure it’s safe for people to occupy, according to the city.

The city is in the process of hiring a structural engineer to determine what needs to happen before the theater can re-open. It’s possible that the theater is already structurally sound, but the city is evaluating it out of an abundance of caution.

For the time being, this means events scheduled at the theater are canceled until further notice, according to the city.

The Auburn Avenue Theater had a rough 2021. Shortly after re-opening from COVID-19 shutdowns last spring, the Max House Apartment building caught fire and damaged the theater, causing it to close again for several months.

The theater was only open for a few months this fall before the demolition of the apartment building caused the theater to close yet again.

The Auburn Reporter will follow up on this story as more information becomes available.


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