Do you have memories of the Colonial back in the 60’s, 50’s or earlier?
Do you have old Colonial photos. ticket stubs or other memorabilia?
Would you be willing to share your story on (or off) camera?
We’re documenting the special role the historic Colonial Theater played in Augusta’s history and we want to hear YOUR story. Our goal is to compile a short film and a number of short videos to document community memories – YOUR memories.
Won’t you please be part of the story, to document this piece of history?
Use your phone camera to scan the QR code embedded in the image or click on this link to fill out the interest form:
Thank you so much Kennebec Historical Society for highlighting this labor of love brought to us by local film restoration aficionado Ed Lorusso of Belgrade. The Augusta Colonial Theater was honored to partner with Lorusso to bring these important time capsules from Maine’s history back into the historic venue where many originally premiered!
Both the Kennebec Journal and Sun Journal featured the Colonial Theater’s upcoming Silent Movie Festival. See the June 11, 2023 Kennebec Journal link below to read the article in its entirety, see photos, and even a short movie clip.
An advertising card for the June 16 and 17 Silent Film Festival displayed in front of the Colonial Theater on Water Street in Augusta where the movies will be shown. Steve Collins/Sun Journal
AUGUSTA — In the early days of movies, when the spotlight had not yet firmly focused on Hollywood, film crews sometimes settled in unlikely places to make moving pictures.
They made cowboy flicks in Philadelphia, dramas in Ithaca, New York, and “north woods” stories in Maine.
Eleven black-and-white movies shot in the Pine Tree State between 1910 and 1925 will be featured at the Silent Film Festival next weekend at the historic Colonial Theater in Augusta.
Six of them were made nearby, featuring scenes in Augusta, the Belgrade Lakes, the Kennebec River and nearby forests. One even cast former Gov. Percival Baxter in a bit part after he grew curious watching some moviemaking taking place next door to the Blaine House.
“I tried to do as many Maine-oriented films as possible,” said festival organizer Edward Lorusso of Belgrade, a film historian, writer, producer and composer who gathered the movies for the festival.
The Augusta area films “are coming back to the theater where they probably made their debut,” Lorusso said.
To continue reading the article in its entirety, see photos, and even a short movie clip, see the June 11, 2023 Kennebec Journal’s link below:
ACT presents The Quest: A true story of abandonment, neglect, restoration and triumph.
The Augusta Colonial Theater Board of Directors released its second Annual Report to the community, recapping the progress made toward restoration, the work of committees, support from donors, and financial overview. Read the report here.
After Securing Funding for Renovations as Part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill
Augusta, ME – Today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, visited the Augusta Colonial Theater to see the plans for renovations and expansions made possible by the $1.5 million grant she secured in December as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. The theater, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014, had previously been closed and vacant since 1969, falling into disrepair for several decades until it was saved from demolition.
The grant is allowing for the renovation of the 1,000-seat theater, making it wheelchair accessible, and the construction of an attached 2-level auxiliary building that contains expanded restrooms, adequate water supply systems, additional HVAC systems, a 200-seat multipurpose community theater, and space for classrooms and galleries. On the top floor, overlooking the Kennebec River, there will be an income-producing restaurant to provide self-sufficiency.
“Cultural institutions are part of the fabric of communities and enrich the lives of Mainers,” Senator Collins said. “Securing this grant has made it possible for the Colonial Theater to reestablish itself as a lively cultural center in the heart of Augusta for generations to come.”
The theater is set to become a vibrant hub for arts and culture in Augusta, offering an array of exciting events such as live performances, concerts, lectures, international streaming performances, and serving as the new home of the Kennebec Performing Arts (formerly the Augusta Symphony Orchestra). In addition, plans are underway to expand the existing Youth Theater and introduce a Senior Theater, both of which would make use of the newly expanded rehearsal and performance spaces.
Exterior restoration continues with “crowning glory”
March 1, 2021
John Gawler, Owner of Gawler and Daughters Sheet Metal of Belgrade, Molly O’Guinness Carlson, Owner of Head Tide Archeological Conservation Laboratory and Peachey Builders craftsmen Steve Brown are collaborating to restore and replace the decorative element as the “crowning glory” on top of the Augusta Colonial Theater.
Molly O’Guinness Carlson of Head Tide Conservation Labs restored the original art deco zinc formations that are being placed upon a newly created replica of the arched shape made by John Gawler of Gawler and Daughters Sheet Metal of Belgrade. Steve Brown, Craftman for Peachey Builders will be the hands reinstalling the element on the top of the
Augusta Colonial Theater in Spring 2021.
None of this would be possible without the skilled supervision of Gary Peachey, owner of Peachey Builders in Augusta. We are so grateful to everyone involved in the on-going story of the resurrection of the Augusta Colonial Theater.
A portion of the funds to complete this project were raised by the State Lunch Sweetheart Dinner fundraiser held on February 14, 2021.