Colonial Theater

611 Main Street,
Laconia, NH 03246

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Colonial Theater

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

“The Colonial Theater, 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 opened. It presented movies and vaudeville shows, the world premiere of ‘Return To Peyton Place’ and the music of John Phillip Sousa. Today the theater is once again operating as a movie house.

Interesting fact: The Colonial Theater 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 17 comments)

pinkjacket on April 17, 2007 at 4:39 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.

jgleason on September 3, 2007 at 8:14 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. :)

jgleason on November 3, 2007 at 9:45 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

jgleason on June 21, 2008 at 5:49 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 11:02 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 5:35 pm

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

ghostwriter56 on February 6, 2010 at 5:35 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 9:05 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 9:23 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 9:26 am

Uploaded pictures from the single screen days and postcard images.

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