Concord Theater

18 S. Main Street,
Concord, NH 03301

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 34 comments

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 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.

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 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 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:

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 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.

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!”

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.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on October 27, 2013 at 7:08 pm

jaboschen is right. The lobby building and auditorium both still stand. You can see it on the Google Maps overhead view and street view. Endicott Furniture, as shown in the old photo above, is still next door to the theatre. From the Google Street view you can even see the writing “Concord Theatre” on the sidewalk of the entryway to the former theatre.

jaboschen on October 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm

I was in the area the other day and took a look at this cool little place. From my observations, I don’t believe the auditorium portion of the building was demolished. If you walk down into the parking lot next to the building you can see the original exit doors to the auditorium on the side. Would love to see this one preserved… I wonder how much of the interior is still there?

alwalks on September 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm

During the late 50’s the movie “The 10 Commandments” was making the rounds. The Concord Theater had the entire south wall of their building plastered with a color billboard of the show showing Charlton Heston holding up the Ten Commandments stones. This show was far outlasted by the eventually peeling paper from the billboard. As a side note. Maurice Cantin became my school bus driver in East Concord and the route took us to Eastman Elementary School. Eventually he retired and spent his winters down in Panama City FL,near my home. I grew up in Concord, and left in 1969 after getting drafted.

Paul Brogan
Paul Brogan on October 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm

pebrogan on April 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Did you get any responses on your questions? If not, please let me know and I’ll see if I can direct you.


kemackenzie2 on January 5, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Hello, I’m working on an article about Conn’s Theater and I would love more information about the theater and Jacob Conn if anyone can help. My e-mail address is kmackenzie(at)theconcordinsider(dot)com.

Thank you!!

cdmor on October 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm

My grandfather worked as a confectioner at the Norris Bakery in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, before it was used as a theater. It was an honore to see pictures of the old building! Thanks!

pebrogan on October 20, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Here is part of an article about Jacob Conn regarding the date that Conn’s Theatre on School Street in Concord was built:

“…that when fire destroyed the old Durgin
factory on School street in 1911 he had enough
to purchase the ruins. Working nights in
the tailor shop, he spent his days cleaning
up the immense heap of blackened bricks.

In June, 1911, the cornerstone of his
theatre was laid and on October 14 of
the next year it was completed and under
his management has been most successful
ever since.“

pebrogan on October 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Mr. Vogel is right about the date – thanks for checking that out. Conn’s Theatre became the American Legion Hall, per someone I spoke to that knows Concord history. It remained the hall until it was demolished in the 1970’s. AS of today, the Concord Theatre is still standing – the box office is intact but there are severe leaks in the roof. It is guesstimated to cost about $ 400 – 450,000 to bring it up to code if it were to be saved.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 17, 2009 at 9:46 pm

The June 7, 1947, issue of Boxoffice said: “J.E. Charbonneu, owner and operator of the Concord, Concord, N.H., for many years, has disposed of the property to Theresa Cantin, who has been booking and managing the house for some time. Charbonneau will retire from active business.”

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on October 17, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Chuck, this was demolished? When?

pebrogan on October 17, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Conn’s Theatre was located on School Street in Concord. Unfortunately they tore down the beautiful building to make way for an ugly parking garage, I believe in the 70’s. As a child in the 60’s I used to walk by the building on my way to shop downtown in Concord. Theresa Cantin purchased the Concord Theatre at 18 ½ South Main Street from Mr. Charbonneau around 1945. Her father, a building contractor, had helped concert the Norris Bakery into the theatre in 1934. From around 1945 on she ran the theatre with her two sisters, Laurie (a projectionist) and Rene who worked the concession stand. Their brother Maurice helped out as a projectionist. At present the building is not very sound but there is federal money available to restore historic downtown theatres. I worked at the theatre off and on from 1967, when I was 15, until it closed in 1994. The last picture to play the theatre was “Andre”. Almost until the end the theatre continued to make money. A year before it closed it sold-out a number of performances of “The Crying Game” and among the biggest hits in the 1980’s to play there were “Moonstruck”, “Pretty in Pink”, “The Shining”, “The Last Emperor. To this day I recall the line-up from the first summer I worked there – "Caprice”, “Two for the Road”, “Welcome to Hard Times”, “The Sand Pebbles”, “Hawaii”, “Woman Times Two” and “Made in Italy”. My first experience with sell-outs came later that year with “Valley of the Dolls” which filled every seat for two shows a night for the first 12 days of the engagement. Some of the biggest hits that followed included “Rocky”, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, “10”, “Arthur”, “Superman” and “Planet of the Apes” to name but a few. Performances in the early years were usually scheduled for 6:25 and 8:25 but Theresa always accommodated her “public” and if someone called from out of town to say they were leaving their house and would be there in fifteen minutes, it was not unusual for her to hold the show for that patron. It was an amazing experience. Theresa, the last surviving sister passed away in 1998 while in the midst of putting together a really good deal to sell the theatre and get it reopened after extensive renovations.

lacoy on February 23, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Fantastic photos! My grandmother used to take me to the Star, although it closed when I was very young…Conn’s is definitely the Concord Theater except they added a marquee.

lacoy on February 23, 2009 at 10:37 am

I would love to see the photo card you have…Lane in New Orleans…I was raised in Concord, and we used to go to the Concord and Capitol Theaters.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 23, 2008 at 7:22 am

I have a postcard-photo of Conn’s Theatre in Concord, NH. Does anyone know if that still exists, was renamed? Built by Jacob Conn, perhaps in the 1920s, it was touted as America’s first fireproof house of entertainment. Conn built two theatres in Providence, the Metropolitan and the Olympia.