Colonial Theatre

611 Main Street,
Laconia, NH 03246

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Fire Curtain, Colonial Theatre

Yet another “Colonial” in NH… but this one is haunted. From the Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society…

“The Colonial Theatre, on Main Street in downtown Laconia operated for 86 years. It was, at the time ‘One of the handsomest play-houses to be found in New England and far ahead of anything which the average city of Laconia can boast’, reported the Laconia Democrat in 1915, when the Colonial Theatre opened with 1,230-seats. It presented movies and vaudeville shows, the world premiere of "Return To Peyton Place” and the music of John Phillip Sousa. It was operating as a movie house into the 2000’s. In 2017 it was being renovated to create a 750-seat multi-purpose theatre. The Colonial Theater plans an early-2021 reopening.

Interesting fact: The Colonial Theatre is said to be haunted. Reported incidents include: footsteps heard and lights go on and off, and doors open and close when no one’s around. Visitors get a strange feeling that they should leave as soon as possible. A figure of a man has been seen".

Contributed by John Elwood

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

robboehm on July 15, 2015 at 8:26 am

Uploaded pictures from the single screen days and postcard images.

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.

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.

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

AndreasP on March 1, 2021 at 2:55 am

Scheduled for re-opening in 2021. Website:

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