Colonial Theatre

611 Main Street,
Laconia, NH 03246

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Mikeoaklandpark on May 5, 2022 at 2:06 pm

Awesome photos Matt

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on May 5, 2022 at 1:40 pm

This theater reopened in August 2021.

I photographed it throughout it’s restoration: After the Final Curtain

AndreasP on March 1, 2021 at 2:55 am

Scheduled for re-opening in 2021. Website:

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on January 8, 2020 at 7:19 am

I recently visited the Colonial Theatre. Check out some photos and a short history at After the Final Curtain

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 17, 2017 at 7:19 pm

This item from the March 22, 1913, issue of Engineering Record is probably about the Colonial Theatre, which opened in April, 1914:

“Laconia, N. H.— The contract for erection of ground floor theater and 3 story business block has been awarded by Benj. Piscopo to Henry Stone, of Laconia: cost about $150,000. Architect, Geo. L. Griffin, of Laconia .”
The Colonial Theatre is undergoing restoration and will be a multi-use theater of 750 seats, as noted in this weblog post. Fundraising for the project continues as well. A web site about the restoration includes this page of “before” photos.

DENNISMAHANEY1 on December 19, 2015 at 9:52 am

GENERAL CINEMA operated this wonderful so beautiful theater, as a young asst. was sent there give the manager a two week vacation, what a nice two weeks I had always remember how I fell in love with this theater it is special, and now I read the community spending much to bring her back, great news she then always be there.

robboehm on July 15, 2015 at 8:26 am

Uploaded pictures from the single screen days and postcard images.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 15, 2015 at 8:23 am

I read somewhere very recently that the BEDC will purchase the Colonial and then lease it to the City for 7 years for use as a municipal auditorium.

BVD1 on July 15, 2015 at 8:05 am

LACONIA — The city, in partnership with the Belknap Economic Development Council (BEDC), has committed itself to arranging a financial package of $15 million to acquire and renovate the long-closed Colonial Theater along with the commercial and residential units on the lot at 609-621 Main St.

Randy Eifert, chairman of BEDC, announced the pending transaction at Wayfarer Coffee Roasters yesterday afternoon to a packed house of more than 50 people who, upon hearing the news, burst into a spirited ovation of clapping and cheering.

ghostwriter56 on February 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I wish something could be done to save this grand old theatre. I grew up in Laconia and spent many Saturday afternoons there.

wellrj on December 16, 2009 at 10:02 pm

This beauty need to start showing first runs again. I’m pretty sure this is what the owner would prefer. Would be a huge boon to the downtown area when downtown’s are the future of brick and mortar consumerism. Leaving a movie or eating establishment and then your first and only site being a drab parking lot just isn’t doing anymore. Bad economy or not, business better get a clue.

Joe Gleason
Joe Gleason on June 21, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I meant to post this a while ago…I was unable to close a deal with the current owner. As far as I know, it is still for sale or lease. I am still looking for a project, my preference is something that has a decent stage for live performances.

Joe Gleason
Joe Gleason on November 3, 2007 at 8:45 pm

Just an update for those interested: I’ve been in the theatre twice in the last few weeks and just today got a copy of the original blueprints from the owner. The building is indeed for sale but would require significant work to return it to a live performance space. This should be done and I hope to be the one to do it. If you are interested, contact me through

Joe Gleason
Joe Gleason on September 3, 2007 at 7:14 pm

Does the city own it or is it privately held? I’d like to get some more information on this theatre. Guess a drive up to Laconia is in my future. :)

pinkjacket on April 17, 2007 at 3:39 am

i live in laconia, and the theater is currently a run down building with apartments above. it has been closed for years, and though the city talks or restoring it, nothing is being done. the building sits in the center of town and is basically ignored. from what i understand, the interior is still split up into multiple movie theaters inside.

stephenr1 on November 12, 2006 at 5:45 pm

Before this movie theater was divided up into a bunch of theatres it was a beautiful setting not unlike the Crest theatre near where I live now in Sacramento CA.
The backstage of the theatre was still intact with backdrop ropes and ‘original’ lighting equipment. Behind the stage was also the dressing rooms for actors, and at that time was storage for a natural foods store and restaurant located on the side street to the left of the theatre.
I met the owner as a young kid and he offered to train me running the equipment part time (hard to get good help perhaps). I never took him up on it though I did get a tour of the projection room, very cool.

hollister22nh on October 9, 2006 at 9:28 am

I drove by yesterday. The marquee says “for sale or lease”


ErikH on August 13, 2006 at 1:21 am

I located an article on the Laconia Citizen website (article dated June 2, 2006) that discusses the status of the Colonial and the attempts by the owners to sell the shuttered venue. Here’s an excerpt:

“When it opened in 1914, the Colonial was a live-performing center with 1,400 seats. The space was divided 69 years later into four — and eventually, five â€" separate movie screening rooms. The theater, save for one brief period in 2003 when a New Durham couple attempted to operate it as a cinema, has been largely vacant since August 2002 when it last functioned as a combination movie house and pizzeria."

ErikH on July 2, 2005 at 4:33 pm

I visited the Colonial often when vacationing at Lake Winnespaukee in the 1970s and 1980s and have many fond memories of that theater. Much more atmospheric than the twin cinema in nearby Gilford.

By the mid 1980s the Colonial had been subdivided into at least four auditoriums. The above reference to the Colonial being a single screen is wrong, unless the theater had been renovated subsequent to the subdivision.

The Historical Society excerpt used for the above summary states that “the Colonial is once again operating as a movie house” but the theater is listed as closed. Which is correct? If the Colonial is now closed, does anyone know when the Colonial closed and what the plans are for the site?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 18, 2005 at 12:27 pm

Thanks. There are two photos of the Colonial on the Cinema Tour website.

hollister22nh on June 18, 2005 at 12:12 pm

Yes there was a “Garden Theater” which is now used by

I’ll add that right now.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 17, 2005 at 9:39 am

I remember walking around the interior of a theatre in Laconia the weekend I was on a camping trip nearby in May of 1973. I don’t remember what it was being used for then, perhaps a shop, but a friend who summered in Laconia took me inside. I don’t know if it was this place. Was there any other theatre in Laconia?