609 Main Street receives generous donation from Mill Falls for Theater fund!


PHOTO (L to R) Randy Eifert, Belknap EDC Board Chair; Gail Batstone, General Manager, Mill Falls at the Lake; Justin Slattery, Belknap EDC Exec. Director, and Rusty McLear, President/CEO, Mill Falls at the Lake.

LACONIA NH – Understanding the importance of a solid community infrastructure that offers both business and culture, Rusty McLear, President/CEO of Mill Falls at the Lake, presented a check for $100,000 toward the Colonial Theater capital campaign, which has a goal of raising $2 million before the year is out. McLear stated, “We are proud to donate to the Colonial Theater project and look forward to watching the progress over the next year to bring this theater back to the majestic beauty it once was.”

“This has been a dynamic and exciting project to work on”, said Gail Batstone, Co-Chair of the Colonial Fundraising Committee and General Manager at Mill Falls at the Lake.  “We would like to challenge all area hospitality properties to join us in this fundraising effort.”

“Since the start of the capital campaign, we have received an outpouring of support from businesses and residents in the Lakes Region,” said Justin Slattery, Executive Director of the Belknap EDC.  “We are making good progress and ask that any business or resident interested in learning more about the Colonial Theater capital campaign contact us at 603.524.3057 or 609MainStreet.org.”

World renowned artist & interior designer from Boston worked on the original Theatre!

Did you know…one of the original artists involved in the Colonial Theatre was world renowned artist and interior designer, Danish-born Peter Holdensen from Newton, MA?? Holdensen was a gifted artist who often had several of his canvases displayed in the National Art Gallery at Copenhagen.

A native of Ribe, Denmark, he came to America at the age of 15 in 1883 to study art and by 1890 he had established his own interior decorator’s studio on Boylston Street in Boston. Known for his striking decors for many hotels, restaurants and theatres, he also designed interiors for a number of New England churches.

In 1946, King Christian X of Denmark decorated him with the Medal of Liberation in recognition of his outstanding work for Denmark while the country was under Nazi occupation.

Holdensen also designed the Danish Room and the Egyptian Room at the Eastland Hotel in Portland, Maine – now the Westin Portland Harborview. He passed away in 1952 at the age of 84.

Now that is an interesting piece of history!!