Concord Theater

18 S. Main Street,
Concord, NH 03301

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Rendering for proposed renovation/rebuild

Viewing: Photo | Street View

I went snooping around this place, but it looked rather derelict but intact. There is a shoe repair shop let into the front of the building. The Concord NH walking tour lists it together with the "Norris Bakery" and I can’t really tell if they are saying Norris’s house with a mansard roof was the Concord Theater or not. The building I know of as the Concord Theater (the give away being the words "Concord Theater" in ceramic tiles at the door and a ticket booth) has no mansard roof and surely was never a house. Perhaps he means the SITE of Norris’s house, but anyway this is the quote… "Norris Bakery/Concord Theater 16-18 South Main Street. James S. Norris operated one of the largest bakeries in the state. In this building he made bread, crackers, and confectioneries from 1860 until the late-1920’s. During the Civil War, his business supplied two tons of bread each day to local military camps. The mansard-roof house directly south of the bakery, also built in 1860, was Norris' residence. From 1934 until 1994 the Concord Theater showed motion pictures here. Its unused auditorium was one of only two surviving downtown theaters".

Of course that’s not true either… because there were four auditoriums in Concord, NH used at one time or another for movies.

Contributed by John Elwood

Recent comments (view all 35 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Bird’s Eye view of the Concord Theatre area at Bing Maps is dated 2012 and shows the theater still standing, auditorium and all. The auditorium roof looks to be in pretty rough shape, though. If it doesn’t get some attention soon, this theater will deteriorate fast.

Paul Brogan
Paul Brogan on December 20, 2013 at 10:21 am

The picture above was taken in the fall of 1975 and the theatre’s attraction was “The Master Gunfighter” The second line reads – Billy Jack Presents.

The theatre is still standing and looking in the front door, the original box-office is clearly visible as is the long lobby leading up to the upper lobby. The current owners will not allow the theatre to be viewed although I know of at least 2 people interested in buying it and reopening it as some kind of theatre.

As an aside, the side of the building was also plastered at one point with a poster for “Some Like it Hot”, “Around the World in 80 Days” and “Cleopatra” with Taylor/Burton/Harrison.

The last time they did the enormous poster on the building’s side was for “Hawaii” which played in late summer of 1967 – touted as “Direct from it’s Roadshow Engagement – First time at Popular Prices!”

Paul Brogan
Paul Brogan on December 20, 2013 at 10:30 am

Maurice Cantin was the younger brother of Theresa Cantin who, along with her sisters Rene and Laurie, ran the theatre. Maurice was a spare projectionist along with Mert Tolman, Ernie Mayo and Mr. Bunker (never knew his first name). I used to take my life in my hands each time I climbed the ladder to change the marquee since I swear the ladder had been there since the theatre opened in 1934.

As I recall, “The Master Gunfighter” was what they called, at the time, a “four-wall deal”. The releasing company bought the theatre for the run – paying all advertising and giving the theatre a flat rate and taking all box-office income. For a while these types of films did very well and you made a killing in concession income. The releasing company would send a “checker” who stood next to Theresa as she sold tickets and clicked for each sold to make sure his total matched her ticket numbers sold for the evening. I remember wondering whether “checkers” ever smiled or laughed because they always seemed a dour, unhappy group.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 28, 2015 at 12:16 pm

The Theatre Historical Society on-line archive has the MGM Theatre Report for the Concord Th., it’s Card # 478. But there is no info on it at all, other than an exterior photo which was probably taken around 1950.

Paul Brogan
Paul Brogan on June 28, 2015 at 1:04 pm

This link to a story I did on the theatre in 2014, includes some pictures taken of it after it closed but around 200 or 2001. Feel free to contact me at:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 28, 2015 at 1:46 pm

The page for the Concord Theatre at the Cinema Data Project has excerpts from a 1974 newspaper article about the theater, including several quotes from long-time operator Theresa Cantin.

Also, click this hyperlink to reach Paul Brogan’s 2014 article about the Concord. There’s also a slide show with five photos.

Paul Brogan
Paul Brogan on February 25, 2017 at 11:28 am

It appears the Concord Theatre is about to be saved. It has been purchased with a plan toward restoring it and reopening it as a smaller performance venue as part of the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. Here is my blog from February 23rd, discussing this plan:

Joe Gleason
Joe Gleason on February 25, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Yes! There is a plan moving forward to save this building and turn it into a live performance venue as part of the Capitol Center for the Arts. I’ll provide updates when possible. There are quite a few moving pieces to this project and it is far from being a sure thing right now.

Joe Gleason
Joe Gleason on December 8, 2017 at 7:14 am

Just a quick update – it looks like the building will need to transfer ownership by the end of December, just a few weeks away. The reason for this is to secure tax credits which make the project viable. It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to pull a project like this together. More to come by the start of the new year!

Joe Gleason
Joe Gleason on April 19, 2018 at 6:49 am

Well, we are getting closer to bringing this theatre back to life. financial package is nearly complete, pre-construction meetings are happening and the current schedule is to begin renovation in July of 2018. The plan is to be open for business in April of 2019, just one year away!

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