We need skilled building volunteers,
building materials and monetary donations.


OR CALL 757-393-2468


"Thanks for taking me back to our Lee Hall days, walking across the bridge, through the woods, past the high school, down Prospect Pkwy and into the square to go to the Afton Theatre to watch the western movies many Saturdays..."

- one of many online posts from
residents who grew up in Cradock
during the Afton Theatre’s hey-day

afton TheatreSitting abandoned in Cradock, a National Registered Historic District, the Afton Theatre is one of the few remaining Art-Deco theatres. Being such a rare valuable piece of history makes this theatre worth saving. Many experts believe the Afton Theatre would be the catalyst in the rebirth of Cradock, a neighborhood built by the government during WWI to house shipyard workers. Over the years Cradock has seen a decline and is now

in much need of restoration and attention. Basically forgotten, this close-knit community is taking it upon themselves to build a better neighborhood. With the help of some very gracious outsiders, this dream could be a reality. It has been said that Afton Square, the unique business center in the middle of Cradock could be a "Mini Ghent". But the effort has to start somewhere, and for Afton Square, the answer is the Afton Theatre restored to its original glory.

Many volunteers are working to revive the Afton Theatre to a mulit-use venue to serve not just Cradock but the entire Tidewater community. WE ARE ASKING FOR YOUR HELP in making the Afton Theatre breathe again before the city tears her down.The clock is ticking!!!

Our vision of the Afton Theatre is to re- store it to its original beauty. With bold designs and vivid colors, this Art-Deco Theatre was once the centerpiece of Cradock. Though time and economic changes brought the theatre to an end three decades ago, we have the vision to save such an important piece of hist- ory. Resurrecting the Afton can bring back hope to a forgotten "little town". Cradock can once again be the first neighborhood of choice, and Afton Square can be the place where every- one wants to be. Saving the Afton won't be an easy task but we will accomplish this through a dynamic partnership with citizens, businesses, and volunteers. As a multi- use venue, the Afton will provide enter- tainment for everyone in Tidewater. With innovation, creativity, and hard work, we can make this dream come true.

History Of The Afton Theatre - Est.1937

after1970The Afton Theatre opened on September 14, 1937 as a 500 seat amusement house with the latest in new equipment, including Western Electric sound effects.

Billed as fireproof, it promised to offer the most modern in motion picture entertainment features, news, and specialties. The Art-Deco front was described as "of distinctly modern design" with harmonious and attractive lighting effects...for the exterior and interior.

During the 30's, 40's, 50's, and 60's, the Afton Theatre featured first run movies, as well as local and regional talent. But during the 70's, shopping malls and multiplex theatres made it difficult and finally impossible for the Afton Theatre to survive. It has been vacant now for more than 30 years.