Colonial Theater

North Main Street,
Kannapolis, NC 28081

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Showing 17 comments

DavidZornig on August 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm

Post fire photo added courtesy of the Cannon Mills, Kannapolis, NC 1887-2003 Facebook page.

Susan Walker
Susan Walker on April 7, 2016 at 9:53 am

My mother saw “The Wizard of Oz” here in September, 1939. It was the very first movie she ever attended.

Thomas2 on September 19, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Chuck, very good idea about the addresses. All suggestions appreciated.

Thomas2 on September 19, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Hi Everyone, I would like to share a Google map with you. It indicates the theaters. Corrections or any other information is appreciated.

View link

Thomas2 on September 19, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Joe, Thank you. I would like to read anything that you care to post

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 19, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Ken Walter: Belated thanks for posting the photo links. I didn’t get a notification for the page update back in April.

Thomas2: The Palace was located at 540 E. C Street. There are links to a couple of photos of it (thanks again to Ken Walter) on its Cinema Treasures page.

Thomas2 on September 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I am so impressed with the quality of research and the details presented. Where was the Palace located?

kenbob62 on April 22, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Finally found a picture of the Colonel to post you can see it here.

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kenbob62 on April 22, 2009 at 5:04 am

The Colonial Theater was on N. Main st. What you see on google maps is the area where Cannaon mills plant 1 was North Kannapolis is an area about 2 miles to the north the cordanates for google maps is
35°30'33.71"N 80°36'59.03"W it is just a parking lot now. The picture of the site is here

View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 29, 2009 at 9:38 pm

I have noticed that the seating capacities Boxoffice gives are sometimes way off. They are probably the least reliable figures the magazine published. Sometimes a photo of an auditorium published with an article about a theater will show that there are obviously many fewer seats than the article itself claims there are. The magazine is very useful for such things as opening and closing dates, though, and a lot of other information.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 29, 2009 at 8:58 pm

I’ve found that Boxoffice has quite a few misspellings and typos, and sometimes has dumb mistakes, such as items datelined to the wrong location (several instances of Lodi, California, for a Lodi Theatre in Lodi, Ohio, for example), but overall it is pretty reliable. Much of the content appears to have been compiled by the magazine’s copy editors from notes or press releases by theater owners themselves.

The editors probably worked in haste, and many of the notes were probably hand written, accounting for the frequent minor errors. Harry Hart was one of their regional corespondents, though, and did a regular column for a few years, often going out to interview people in the industry, as well as doing the same sort of compiling that the staffers in Hollywood probably did, but for territory with which he was personally familiar, so he was less likely than them to make mistakes. I think he was based in Charlotte.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 29, 2009 at 6:31 pm

One of the staffers told Harry that “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Stars in My Crown” had both packed the house, so they must have at least had the projectors running by then.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 28, 2009 at 3:34 pm

There are two paragraphs about the Main Theatre in a regional column appearing in the October 21, 1950, issue of Boxoffice. Columnist Harry Hart had visited the theater and talked with various members of the staff. It was definitely open by then.

I think the Main’s building might still be there, at the northwest corner of Cannon and Jackson (801 N. Cannon will fetch it on Google Maps.) In Street View, the building on this corner looks like it was originally art moderne but has been altered. It currently houses a shoe store.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 28, 2009 at 1:06 pm

The Main Theatre must have opened after 1950, as its not listed in earler editions of Film Daily Yearbook.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 27, 2009 at 9:23 pm

OK, over on the Gem Theatre page, on February 26, 2009, Steve Thomas said the Colonial was on North Main Street, and that it went out of business in 1955. He says it remained closed for many years, and he has a photo of it from about ten years after it closed, so that might rule out the Fine Arts of 1964 as a successor to the Colonial.

Also, a May 22, 2006, comment by goodoleboy on the Gem page says that the Main Theatre was on Cannon Boulevard in North Kannapolis, so we can rule out that as a name change.

The Main might have been built in 1947. The June 28 issue of Boxoffice that year reported that a group of Kannapolis GIs were building a 600 seat theatre on Cannon Boulevard at Jackson. Unless there were two theaters on Cannon Boulevard, the new house must have been the Main.

From the Google Maps satellite and street views, it looks like everything on North Main Street near the center of town has been wiped out, so probably the Colonial, and certainly the Fine Arts (if it was a different theater) are both landfill.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Possibly it was expanded. As the manager used the word “gutted” it seems likely that at least some of the existing walls were used. Perhaps the original Colonial had a stage house, and the auditorium might have been expanded into that space.

In any case, the Colonial was in operation by March 29, 1941, when Boxoffice reported that Sam Trincher (various issues of Boxoffice use this alternate spelling of the name) of Legendre Theatres had announced that Kenneth Kornahrens, manager of the Colonial, was leaving and would join the service.

The last mention of the Colonial I’ve come across is in the September 2, 1950, issue of Boxoffice, in an item about a promotion for “Father of the Bride.”

The October 1, 1950, issue of Boxoffice mentions a Main Theatre in Kannapolis. A name change, perhaps? And then The February 9, 1964, issue carried an item about a robbery at the Fine Arts Theatre at 99 W. Main Street, Kannapolis. Another possible name change?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 27, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Either the local writer was wrong about the Colonial never being rebuilt, or there was a later Colonial Theatre in Kannapolis. The June 24, 1946, issue of Boxoffice said that H.H. Everett was taking over operation of the Colonial Theatre on July 1. The house had been built and operated by Morris Legendre and Sam Trencher.

The March 2, 1940, issue of Boxoffice ran an article about the Colonial fire, and said that manager Sam Trencher had announced that the gutted theater would be rebuilt, and that he expected it to reopen within six to eight weeks.