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Avondale’s Towne Cinema granted business license, owner dresses like Elvis

Avondale Estates

Avondale’s Towne Cinema granted business license, owner dresses like Elvis

Tony Longval, right, dressed as Elvis, poses with Avondale Estates City Manager Clai Brown, left.
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Tony Longval, right, dressed as Elvis, poses with Avondale Estates City Manager Clai Brown, left.

Tony Longval, right, dressed as Elvis, poses with Avondale Estates City Manager Clai Brown, left.

It has been more than a year since Avondale Estates City Commissioners signed off on turning the city’s historic Towne Cinema building into a music venue.

On Friday, the city announced that the venue is open for business.

The city has issued a business license and certificate of occupancy to Tony Longval, a roadie turned entrepreneur. It appears the music venue will be called Towne Cinema as well, according to the company’s Facebook page. The company’s website declares the venue is “Now Open!

Longval dressed up as Elvis to celebrate the occasion, a nod to a legend that the King performed at the theater back in its heyday.

Longval has worked in the music business for decades and has spent the last seven and a half years as a drum tech and “merch guy” for the band Sister Hazel.

The cinema was constructed in 1925 and served as Avondale Estates post office and city hall. It became the Avondale Theater in 1938. According to some research provided by the building’s owner, the 500 seat theater entertained audiences with wrestling, boxing and, of course movies.

Fisher Paty, with Oakhurst Realty Partners, stands beneath the marquee at Towne Cinema. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Fisher Paty, with Oakhurst Realty Partners, stands beneath the marquee at Towne Cinema. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Over the years it’s been used as a private residence. The balcony at some point was closed off from the theater and the projector room was modified to include a kitchen and bathroom.

It was most recently used as the Nickel & Dime Recording Studio.

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