Laconia, NH

found5dollar

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
220
I find myself in the Laconia area pretty often for work so thought I would start a thread for it. I was up there about a week ago to check out the newly renovated Colonial Theater. Built in 1914 it was apparently billed as "The most beautiful theater north of Boston" at the time. The magnificent Main Drape painted with a scene of Venice has been saved but is unfortunately dead hung at the moment due to cost, so it can't be flown in. In the 80's the theater was turned into a five screen movie theater and most of the detail was covered up by false walls but not destroyed. It closed for good in 2002 and reopens this year. The historic renovation, particularly all the paint work, is absolutely incredible. I'm a little hesitant about the overall concept of opening this theater up again as there are already multiple large concert and theater venues in the area, including the Lakeport Opera House which is another historic space reopening this year in Laconia, but the history and memory of this particular theater right in downtown may push it ahead of the rest.

Pictures from before the renovation can be found here.

Pictures from last week by me:
20210724_122634.jpg

20210724_124018.jpg

20210724_123725.jpg

20210724_131113.jpg

20210724_142128.jpg

20210724_142222.jpg
 

MrDee12345

New member
Joined
Nov 28, 2019
Messages
42
Reaction score
53
It's stunning. I have to wonder why they wouldn't consider using it as a cinema on nights it doesn't have a big show.
 

Stlin

Active Member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
253
Reaction score
255
It's stunning. I have to wonder why they wouldn't consider using it as a cinema on nights it doesn't have a big show.
They might; its barely reopened since it's renovation; very few paying butts have sat in any of those seats yet. Art house films just might not pay the bills.
 

fatnoah

Active Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
114
Reaction score
76
It's stunning. I have to wonder why they wouldn't consider using it as a cinema on nights it doesn't have a big show
Funny that you should say that. The Colonial is where I saw The Empire Strikes Back as a child, when the theater was in its incarnation as a single-screen moving theater. It was later chopped up into a 5 screen theater.

RANT
A few folks I know that have attended a show at the theater raved about the renovation, so hopefully it can keep up momentum. I think that theater is key to a hopeful mini-renaissance for a downtown that was massacred by urban renewal, who's main triumphs were creating massive parking lots, eliminating Main St. as a through street, and building multi lane roads to direct traffic AROUND downtown businesses.
/RANT
 

found5dollar

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
220
Funny that you should say that. The Colonial is where I saw The Empire Strikes Back as a child, when the theater was in its incarnation as a single-screen moving theater. It was later chopped up into a 5 screen theater.

RANT
A few folks I know that have attended a show at the theater raved about the renovation, so hopefully it can keep up momentum. I think that theater is key to a hopeful mini-renaissance for a downtown that was massacred by urban renewal, who's main triumphs were creating massive parking lots, eliminating Main St. as a through street, and building multi lane roads to direct traffic AROUND downtown businesses.
/RANT
I'd say downtown was already in a mini renaissance before the Colonial re-opened. Most store fronts are full now and a few destination stores have opened. Burrito me, Wayfair Coffee Rosters, even the Laconia Antique center have become large tourist and local draws. There is WAY to much parking down there but they use the parking lots for farmers markets, festivals, and other events. My hope is that with the Colonial reopening some of the parking lots can be turned into housing with store fronts to fill in some of the missing teeth.
 

Top