Shuttered Gem Of Downtown Belfast; The Colonial Theatre Set To Reopen Under New Ownership
It's been a little over a year since the historic Colonial Theatre, which has stood in the heart of Belfast for more than a hundred years, closed its doors and stopped showing films.
And in that time, while it may not have seemed like too much was taking place on the surface, behind the curtain and backstage, so to speak, there's been quite a bit of activity.
In a post put up on The Colonial Theatre Facebook Page by former long-time theatre owners, Therese Bagnardi and Michael Hurley last week, rumors that had made their way through town were finally put to rest. They stated that the theatre was soon to be reopening, under new ownership.
"We always hoped for the best type of theatrical vision for the Colonial, the Belfast area and did all we could to support the idea of a community owned nonprofit with mixed use of films, educational , live music and events: all over Maine there are theatres like the Colonial in Rockland, Waldoboro, Dover Foxcroft, Waterville, Ellsworth, Bar Harbor, Bucksport and not just in Maine: everywhere in the USA the model for success in small towns is a community supported organization. Now it’s happening and we could not be happier and more excited for the new owners and organization, for the Belfast area, and for the legions of fans of the Colonial Theatre who will be coming back to the neon lighted marquee and great entertainment. We cannot wait to join you."
So, who is this new owner and what will they be doing?
Well, the building is being purchased by a couple who are new to the area, Bill and Libby Catania. But the operations of the Theatre itself will be run by the community, through the creation of The Hawthorne Theatre & Arts Collaborative. You see, the community came together to create the not-for-profit organization, named after the famous elephant mascot who sits atop the Colonial Theatre, Hawthorne.
And based on what they have listed on their website, they plan to offer even more to the community now than they ever have before.
"The Collaborative's plan is to give you everything you used to get from the Colonial, with the addition of so much more. New movies. Live music. Old movies. Local artists. Great movies. Laughably-bad movies. Readings. Stand-up. Classes. Local movies. Party rentals. More free family movies. New forms of membership."
Look for the "Relaunching Open House" to take place on Saturday, November 4th.
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