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Colonial Theatre in Belfast could reopen thanks to community efforts

The Save Our Colonial Theatre Steering Committee has plans to ensure the show goes on.

BELFAST, Maine — After shutting down in September of 2022, the historic Colonial Theatre has been missed by many in Belfast. Not ready to close the curtain, a group came together earlier this year with plans to revitalize the theatre and reopen it as a nonprofit. 

The Save Our Colonial Theatre Steering Committee is currently facilitating efforts to apply for nonprofit status and fundraise donations to reopen the theatre, which has been open since the early 1900s. It officially opened its doors the same day the Titanic set sail, according to the building's current owners.

Following in the footsteps of a handful of other theatres in the state, nonprofit status would allow the spot to run through a board of directors who would manage charitable donations and grant funding. 

The theatre's untapped potential to bring an economic buzz to the area is something the committee believes makes it a great investment for the city.

"People go shopping, people have meals in restaurants nearby; it really is a hub of not just sort of cultural interest, but also economic interest for the community," committee member Eric Buch said. "I think the initial reaction has been positive. People would like it to be open next weekend, and we have to say this is going to take a little time."

The current theatre has two movie screens and one stage, allowing for multiple shows to run at once — something the committee also said could be a good drive for potential investors to preserve the spot. 

The theatre has entered into a fiscal sponsorship with Dover-Foxcroft's Center Theatre while the committee fundraises and awaits approval for nonprofit status. 

To keep updated on the committee's efforts, click here.

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