Colonial Theatre

27 Railroad Street,
Canaan, CT 06018

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Colonial Theatre - October 2010, shortly before closing

Viewing: Photo | Street View

“For over 60 years, the Colonial Theatre, (on the National Register of Historic Places), also known as ‘Little Radio City,’ was home to movies, live theatre, dancing, and bowling for people from more than 16 surrounding communities. It was a place where families and friends spent time together, memories were made, and horizons broadened.

It was opened in 1923, closed in 1997. Our non-profit was started in 1998 and has been working since then to acquire and re-open the theater.“
— Notes courtesy of Nicholas Stuller, President of the Colonial Community Theatre Group.

The Colonial Theatre was reopened, operating as a dinner theatre, with movies and live theatre. It was closed in October 2010.

Contributed by Roger Katz

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 30, 2006 at 1:39 am

Status and number of screens still need updating.

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on April 3, 2006 at 8:03 am

They are starting to have dinner theater shows now and will be presenting bands too. My favorite CT band, Max Creek will be playing there on June 10 (www.maxcreek.com) and the owner of the theater posted on their message board about their new offerings. They said it will only hold 250 patrons so people will have to get them ahead of time. I can’t wait to see a show in this theatre.

SpikeSpiegel6262044
SpikeSpiegel6262044 on June 17, 2006 at 7:37 am

Dinner theater! Yes! Is there a site yet, say like auditions?
Now it really looks sweet! I remember the back was dilapitated before the renovations. Nice pictures RK and LM.

RadioHecate
RadioHecate on June 18, 2006 at 1:13 pm

I’m new to the area…. recently moved to Hillsdale, NY. Some local friends took me to see a band at the Colonial. I was knocked out at what they did to the theater. And so great that the place was packed with people dancing up a storm.

I lived in Westchester County my whole life. Saw so many wonderful old theaters there, in NYC, lower CT, and NJ decline and fall into disrepair. Many suffered the wrecking ball. It’s wonderful to see this local jewel of a theater so beautifully restored!

Great that the Colonial is back in business and playing movies… as it did for decades. Good that the memories people have experienced there are still alive… and continue to thrive… when they see the building. I’m sure many more lasting memories will be made at that theater… over the combination of dinner and a movie.

But, I have to say this. One of the owners of the legendary Bottom Line, a club that was in NYC, is a friend of mine. He’s looking for a new location now, albeit still in NYC. Every time I walk into The Colonial I can’t help but think what he would do with the place in terms of presenting live music. The Theater could be such a great music venue, but it’s so underutilized in that area. If they got the right acts, they could do an amazing live music/dinner business.

I’d love to see the theater reach it’s potential as a live music venue too. And, the profits from that would help with the upkeep of this historic building.

Definitely go to any show or movie that attracts you in terms of this theater. Highly recommended in my book!

I’m wondering where the message board is for the theater. I don’t see a link to it on the Colonial website. I’d love it if shoeshoe would provide us with a link to it. Thanks in advance.

Rose

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio on June 21, 2006 at 3:46 am

I’m glad I happened onto this page-For years, I’d been saying that I have to go to this theater whenever I passed it. I thought it was totally closed down. Hope to plan a visit soon!

nblass
nblass on March 2, 2008 at 9:37 am

Just want to put the word out there, that the Colonial Theatre in Canaan, CT is now for sale as of February 2008. I am a Realtor for Portfolio Properties Group in Canaan, CT. I am looking for a buyer of course, this place has lots of potential. Soon I will have a website just for the sale of the Colonial. If anyone knows of anyone interested in owning their own Theatre in the NW corner of Connecticut, please contact me at or at my office (860) 824-5100.

Rose, I saw your comment from 2006 about a friend in NYC….might be looking for a new location. Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Nikki

nblass
nblass on March 4, 2008 at 10:57 am

This Historic Cinema circa 1920’s has just been made available. For Sale – The Colonial Theatre offers seating on two levels. The theatre is currently being used as a dinner/movie theatre, comedy theatre, auditorium, and so much more. The sale includes all fixtures, furniture and equipment. Please contact Nikki Blass at or at (860) 824-5100, 824-0088, or (860) 671-0592. The website created for the sale is –

http://www.canaanctcolonialtheatre.com/ for further pictures and information be sure to check out this site.

SchineHistorian
SchineHistorian on April 30, 2008 at 4:29 pm

The latest issue of Theatre Historical Society’s MARQUEE MAGAZINE features a photo and short bio of this theater in a travel feature spotlighting the Berkshires.

Go to www.historictheatres.org to join THS or order back issues.

LIRefugee
LIRefugee on November 13, 2010 at 6:52 pm

I passed by this theater just a month ago and it was operating. However, the website seems to indicate that it is closed.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm

It closed in October 2010. The owners have been trying to sell it for years, but they are asking far too much for it.

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