Historical Society & Heritage Commission planning impromptu 100th birthday party for Colonial Theater

LACONIA — The Heritage Commission and Laconia Historical and Museum Society will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Colonial Theater beneath the marquee on Sunday, April 13, from noon until 2 p.m.

Dorothy Duffy, who is among the organizers of the event, explained that the theater was built in 1913, but Benjamin Piscopo, its owner, was superstitious and delayed the opening until April 13, 1914.

The celebration is open to all, who are invited to "just come and be one of the living ghosts from the happy past" by sharing remembrances, photographs and mementos of the theater, enjoying light refreshments and singing "Happy Birthday."

The theater, owned by Pat Baldi, who also owns the Weirs Beach Drive-In, has been dark since 2002. In 2011 the Cultural Arts Center of Lakes Region, a non-profit corporation formed at the initiative of the city, mounted a major effort to acquire the theater that foundered when the appraised value fell far short of the asking price.