Note: All of the following linked articles are unavailable, since the Laconia Citizen newspaper, after a 90 year run, went out of business on October 1, 2016, and took down their web site permanently. The Laconia Public Library is now the only source for these articles. The library has every issue of the Citizen available on microfilm.
An effort in 1984 to preserve the theatre prior to its conversion to a four screen multiplex fell short.
The current effort to restore the Colonial Theatre is led by the Colonial Cultural Arts Center, Inc.
There is a related effort to restore the Laconia Gardens theatre, which is directly across the street from the Colonial Theatre.
Click here for several photos of downtown Laconia before urban renewal. Some of the photos show the Marquees of the two theatres.
Below are links to articles that describe the current restoration efforts.
Laconia Citizen Article, October 14, 2007: Laconia Eyes Reviving Downtown Theater
Laconia Citizen Article, December 11, 2007: Council Sets Up Fund for Arts Center
Laconia Citizen Article, February 14, 2008: Study to Test Arts Center Potential
Laconia Citizen Article, February 15, 2008: Performing Arts in the City?
Laconia Citizen Editorial, February 15, 2008: A Cultural Opportunity Worth Pursuing
The Laconia Daily Sun, February 15, 2008: Performing Arts Center Could Be Economic Dynamo
Laconia Citizen Article, Wednesday, July 16, 2008: Performing arts effort refocusing
The Laconia Daily Sun, August 4, 2008: Consultant’s cautious optimism for Colonial Cultural Arts Center not shared by committee
(To download Laconia Daily Sun articles, click on “Find a Past Issue”, open the year folder, then open the month folder. Notice the files are numbered by the day of the month. Locate the day wanted, then copy the file to your local computer’s hard drive, then open the file.
In April of 2010, the City of Laconia purchased an 18-month option to buy the Colonial theatre. Please see the following articles for more details.
Laconia Citizen Article, Tuesday, April 27, 2010: Colonial Breakthrough Announced
Laconia Citizen Article, Wednesday, April 28, 2010: Decision Won’t Be Rushed
Laconia Citizen Article,Wednesday, April 28, 2010: Save the Colonial – Light the Marquee
Laconia Citizen Article, Saturday, May 1, 2010: Interested Parties Come Forward
In October of 2010, the Theatre was listed by the NH Preservation Alliance as one of NH’s most important historical treasures.
Laconia Citizen Article, Wednesday, October 20, 2010: Colonial Theater Named to the ‘Save’ List
Laconia Daily Sun Article, Wednesday, October 20, 2010: Colonial Theater Given ‘Seven to Save’ Status by NH Preservation Alliance
Posters from the Laconia Gardens theater, 1953
Photo of Laconia Gardens theatre, 1954
Colonial Theatre, 1920’s.
Poster from the Colonial Theater, 1953