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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.
As an usher I remember having to announce to all the customers entering each of the theatres that “Smoking is permitted, last 12 rows”. The mens changing room for the employees smelled like old socks. Many of us would come directly from soccer, or lacrosse practice and change into our tuxedos.
The year I took the photo of the front of RKO was 1973. Save the Tiger w/ Jack Lemmon was playing at the time.
The theatre closed Sept. 2009 and was recently sold to a local restaurant owner. I will keep you up to date with his plans when they are available.
More things I remember working at the RKO Twin.
1. The candy, especially the chocolate, always had bugs in them. As kids we really didn’t know about rotating the stock, DUH! They finally started putting celophane wrappers on the box.
2. Jim Ward had a policy of letting Police Officers in for free, as long as they showed their ID’s. Of course some where trying to use PBA Badges for free entry.
3. I was not only an usher, but the guy who mowed the lawn and trimmed the shrubs. Looking back, I did a lousy job.
4. Jim Ward loved the fifties, especially the music, and passed the music onto us.