272 Bedford Street | Stamford, CT | Box Office: (203) 967-3660


the best of independent, world and documentary films

The mission of the Avon Theatre Film Center is to preserve and operate the historic Avon Theatre by providing a culturally significant film, educational and programmatic palette, which draws patrons from the greater Stamford region.
The Avon Theatre Film Center regards cinema as a uniquely effective vehicle for artistic expression and fulfills its mission by bringing the community together to share experiences that entertain, educate, touch and inspire audiences of all ages and backgrounds. In addition to presenting independent, art, foreign language and classic films and documentaries, the Theatre partners with other local and regional organizations to present programs that appeal to different audiences and deal with the critical issues of the day. Some of the most meaningful experiences provided at the Avon have been the moderated dialogues and panel discussions with filmmakers, actors and other subject experts that are frequently offered after our screenings.

The landscape of today’s cinema is rapidly changing with the consolidation of large studios, changes in film distribution practices and the expansion of streaming media and other technological options. The good news is that none of this will limit the creativity of talented filmmakers! While we must all work to keep pace with changing technology, there is still no replacement for seeing a film on the big screen for which it was created and enjoying the cinema in a community setting while engaging and reacting with other members of the audience! 

The cinema, like everything else, will evolve, but it will always remain an exciting and dynamic art form and the Avon Theatre Film Center looks forward, enthusiastically, to its second 80 years of entertaining, educating and inspiring audiences!

A Proud History


Downtown Stamford’s Avon Theatre was designed over 80 years ago by the renowned NYC architect, William Hohauser, and built by the F.D. Rich Company. The first film, shown in the theatre in 1939, was It’s a Wonderful World starring James Stewart and Claudette Colbert. The Avon changed hands numerous times over sixty years and was owned and operated by several different well-known movie theatre chains before closing its doors with an uncertain future in 1999.


In 2001, the Royce Family Foundation purchased the Avon Theatre and embarked on an ambitious effort to restore the building and update its systems while retaining its valued historic architectural and decorative elements. The refurbished Avon Theatre Film Center reopened in 2004 as a non-profit, member supported movie house offering a curated mix of independent films, documentaries, art house, foreign language films and classic cinema.


The Avon has two theatres – one with 271 seats and the second with 242 seats - both currently in operation seven days a week. We are a vibrant, contemporary non-profit arts organization committed to the preservation and continued operation of a beautiful, historic building that has served as an anchor in downtown Stamford for as long as anyone can remember.

Executive Staff

Peter H. Gistelinck- Executive Director  View Bio
Adam Birnbaum - Director of Business Development and Film Programming
Louisa Greene - Director of Development
Ashley Vanderwaren - Director of Operations
Jennifer Guhl - Director of Marketing
Bradford Burdick  - Operations Manager
Heather Bianco  - Patron Services & Office Manager

Board of Directors

Susan Cullman and Arthur Selkowitz, Co-Chairs
Sue Baker
Rhonda Brockmann
Carolyn Dursi Cunniffe
Jean Doyen De Montaillou
Susan Foster
Sandra Goldstein
Camilla Herrera
Renée Amory Ketcham
William Leach
Stacy Louizos
Tamu Lucero
Linda Zwack Munger
Moira Snover
Kristina Stewart
David Yudain
Chris LaTerza, Treasurer, Ex-Officio

Deborah Goodrich Royce and
Charles M. Royce, Co-Founders and Directors Emeritus

Members and Donors

As a non-profit, mission-driven arts organization, the Avon Theatre Film Center is dependent on the generosity and support of its members and donors. We are proud of the fact that we have close to 2,500 individual members who consistently and loyally support our efforts to provide the best of independent, art house, documentary, classic and foreign language films. We are grateful for every contribution and honored to recognize our donors and members on screen in our theatre and in our periodic publications. It would be our pleasure to add your name to that list!

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