Demolition starts on 1920s South Bend theater

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Crews have started demolishing a downtown South Bend theater dating from the 1920s to make way for a library expansion project.

About half of the former Avon Theater had been knocked down by Monday afternoon. St. Joseph County library director tells the South Bend Tribune that removal of the old theater and two nearby buildings is expected to take about a month.

Preservationists had tried to block demolition of the theater, arguing that many of the city's older buildings have been torn down and that the theater could be rehabilitated. But the city council voted in October against a proposal designating the boarded-up theater as a landmark.

Library officials plan to use the cleared space as parking until the proposed new library is built.

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