12/1 Strategic Meeting Recap: Misiaszek Turpin pllc

Misiaszek Turpin pllc updated everyone on their architectural plans at the 12/1 BEDC meeting. Their presentation included Colonial Theater history, building sketches and models, and some images of the current interior of the Theater as well as the apartments above it.

12/1 Strategic Meeting Recap


The 12/1 BEDC Strategic Update was a huge success. There was a fantastic turnout and great community engagement. Above is the presentation Justin Slattery gave at the meeting highlighting the Colonial Theater Revitalization. We are excited to announce that construction on the Theater will begin in 2018.  In addition to speaking about 609 Main Street, Justin also shared information about BEDC’s other exciting initiatives.

Martin, Lord, and Osman, PA pledges $5,000 to Colonial Theater project

Bud Martin, ML&O left, Gracie Cilley, B.EDC President

Martin, Lord, and Osman, PA has pledged $5,000 toward the Colonial Theater project.   Seeing the economic and community development potential for a completed Colonial Theater in Laconia, the law firm generously voted to support the project.  Bud Martin, President, stated, “As a long standing business supporting the Laconia community, the law firm is proud to support the Colonial Theater Project. It is exciting to see the theater re-emerging as an anchor to our community.”

In accepting the donation, Justin Slattery, Executive Director of the Belknap EDC, stated, “We are honored to receive a donation from the Martin, Lord, and Osman, PA law firm.  The firm has a long history of supporting community projects in Laconia and we appreciate their support of the Colonial Theater project.” Any business or resident interested in learning more about the Colonial Theater capital campaign is encouraged to contact us at 603.524.3057 or 609MainStreet.org.”

ONE Mill Plaza in Laconia Donates $5,000 to Colonial Theater Project



Joe Adrignola of 1 Mill Plaza and Gracie Cilley, BEDC Chair and MVSB


Recently, One Mill Plaza, Inc. of Laconia, pledged $5,000 to the Colonial Theater redevelopment project in Laconia.  One Mill Plaza is the premier professional office building next to Laconia City Hall.  Justin Slattery, Belknap EDC Executive Director, thanked Joe Adrignola, Manager of One Mill Plaza, Inc., for their generous support and commitment to building economic opportunity in Belknap County and the Lakes Region.  Joe Adrignola stated, “On behalf of my fellow building owners, One Mill Plaza, Inc. is proud to support the Colonial Theater redevelopment project which will provide performing arts venue for cultural arts to residents and visitors and serve as a catalyst for the continued redevelopment of downtown Laconia.”

“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 to contact us at 603.524.3057 or 609MainStreet.org.”


Pat Kelly Broadcast Interviews with Colonial Theater Supporters!

We are excited to share with you the LIVE audio clips of the Telethon coverage!

If you missed the On Air Interviews with Pat Kelly during the Radio Telethon -you can listen to each interview here.

Mayor Ed Engler

Ron Magoon, Franklin Savings Bank

John Moriarty, Downtown Initiative

Chris Kelly, ReMax Bayside

Barry Leonard, Bank of New Hampshire

Bob Selig, Laconia Native joins the Phone Bank

Meredith Village Savings Bank Donates $350,000 for Colonial Theater Redevelopment Project!



Photo (left to right): Mayor Ed Engler, Gracie Cilley, VP and Commercial Loan Officer for MVSB, Justin Slattery, BEDC Executive Director, Rick Wyman, MVSB President , and Randy Eiffert, BEDC Chairperson.

Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB) has committed to a $350,000 donation to the Belknap Economic Development Council (Belknap EDC) for the Colonial Theater Redevelopment Project in Laconia. The Bank’s investment is a significant contribution to the renovation of the Colonial Theatre and its transformation into a civic auditorium.

$200,000 of the donation is through the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority’s (CDFA) tax credit program.

Located at 609 Main Street in the heart of downtown Laconia, the Colonial Theater has long been of great interest to city and business leaders. “We are thankful to the Belknap EDC and the local leadership who are committed to the hard work of rehabilitating a once beautiful theater back to its former glory,” said Rick Wyman, President of Meredith Village Savings Bank. “Having a civic auditorium in the heart of downtown Laconia will continue to spur people to live, work and play in the Lakes Region.”

The Colonial Theater has entered its first phase of rehabilitation, beginning with the demolition of a movie cinema partition that was installed in the 1980’s, though the theater had once hosted circuses and vaudeville acts when it first opened in 1914. The movie theater has since closed in the early 2000’s. The project will turn the 102-year structure into a civic auditorium.

“We’re so thankful for the generous contribution of Meredith Village Savings Bank,” said Justin Slattery, Executive Director of the Belknap EDC. “This is a major investment in both the theater’s and city’s redevelopment initiatives. Our goal is to eventually fill the entire space with businesses and services that complement its’ role as a civic auditorium.” The renovation consists of rehabilitating 38,000 square feet of space, which includes a 20,000 square-foot theater, as well as commercial and residential spaces in front of the building.


Belknap EDC was founded in 1992 with the mission of promoting economic vitality in Belknap County and the Greater Lakes Region. One of ten non-profit regional development corporations in New Hampshire, Belknap EDC aims to attract and retain young talent, support creative entrepreneurs, enhance workforce development programs and be a pro-active catalyst, partner and investor in property development that enhances economic opportunity in Belknap County. For more information, visit belknapedc.org.

For nearly 150 years, Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB) has been serving the people, businesses, non-profits and municipalities of Central NH. MVSB and its employees are guided by the values of accountability, mutuality, excellence, respect, integrity, teamwork and stewardship. To learn more, visit any of the local branch offices located in Alton, Ashland, Center Harbor, Gilford, North Hampton, Laconia, Meredith, Moultonborough, Plymouth or Wolfeboro, call 800.922.6872 or visit mvsb.com.


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!!

An Update provided by architect firm Misiaszek & Turpin.

Dusting of the Drawings and the Drapes

The first phase of selective demolition at the Colonial Theatre, is nearing completion. The work has been coordinated by construction manager Bonnette Page and Stone, and they have taken exceptional care uncovering the magnificent space inside. With the majority of the cinema subdivisions removed, the Misiaszek Turpin team has been able
to examine the theatre in near its original conditions. The Theatre continues to offer hidden secrets of its history and that of Laconia’s.
This past week, Sonya Misiaszek and Robert Turpin, owners and principles of the Laconia based architectural office Misiaszek Turpin pllc., welcomed several of their consultants to the Theatre to get an up-close look at the details and to document all the historical qualities.

Over the previous six months, the team has been pouring through the remnants of the original drawings and those from the 1980’s renovation that brought the multiple cinemas into existence.

“It has been fascinating to see how the construction of the building has differed from the original drawings” commented Turpin while discussing the progress of this first phase.

Alongside the demolition and work happing inside the Theatre, Misiaszek Turpin has been working to dissect every aspect of the drawings and the images that they have been able to acquire. Partnering with the Laconia Historical and Museum Society and several other individuals, the team has been able to gather a semi-complete understanding of the building’s history.

Jared Guilmett, Staff Designer at Misiaszek Turpin pllc., has been working to gather and organize all the images that they have received.

“Every picture has value! To achieve the goals of revitalization, we need to see and understand the whole history of the Theatre.” Guilmett said while flipping through their catalogue of images.

From its opening in 1914 to today, there is quite a story held behind the theatre’s drapes.

Each day the Theatre is changing; as it readies itself for a wonderful transformation; honoring its past while bringing it into the present. The entire team working on the Piscopo Building and its fossilized theatre, are eagerly awaiting the day that the doors will finally re-open and the community can once again enjoy the space.
If you or anyone you know has pictures or documentation of the Colonial Theatre, the team would be thrilled to hear from you and to see your artifacts.

Please reach out to Jared Guilmett with your images and stories at jared@misiaszekturpin.com or connect
with Misiaszek Turpin pllc. on Facebook.

Exciting progress continues to happen at 609 Main Street!

We are proud of the process that continues as the renovation moves forward! Check out the most recent photos of the press conference held on June 1st with Bank of New Hampshire’s generous donation! Click to watch the full press conference video.

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See the media gallery for more pictures of the event and updated Theater photos!