Remembering The Time Movies Were Riveting In North Western CT
During my days of living in Litchfield county, I remember heading north from Lakeville to Canaan where routes 44 and 7 meet and not too far away, there was a hidden treasure that showed classic films in it's heyday. After all, The Colonial Theater first opened in our vicinity back in 1923 as residents from 16 surrounding tri-state communities made this a frequent stop to get away from everything and were whisked away into a world where Hollywood cranked out some of the BEST cinematic work for all to enjoy.
Remember, there were NO multiplex cinemas as each designated theater showed one particular picture (maybe two if they billed the event as a double feature). Back in my days in New York City, I had an assortment of theaters to choose from in my uptown Manhattan neighborhood including the venerable RKO Coliseum, a palatial movie house known as The Loew's 175th Street, The Cinema Astral and The Heights Theater (the latter prior to when they showed more adult oriented films that I won't mention because this is a G rated article).
The Colonial very much reminded me of those special moments spent watching classic cinema way back when as my numerous visits took me back to the good ol' days as I'm very nostalgic when it comes to my past. I am fortunate to have grown up in much simpler times: One movie, One theater. That's how I remember watching movies when they were deemed as "magic".
Unfortunately, because of the constant newfound changes, small venues like The Colonial Theater cold not keep up with the competitive nature of modern technology as the famous venue closed it's doors in 1997. One year later, the community turned this north western Connecticut facility into a not for profit venture where an assortment of LIVE dinner theater and plays were presented with an occasional revival film mixed in for good measure. This only lasted until 2010 when they closed again due to numerous circumstances.
4 years ago, The Colonial saw another re-birth when the venue was refurbished and presented special events with occasional movies, but you can blame the recent COVID-19 pandemic for an abrupt forcible closure as audiences were kept away once again, not by choice. The route 7 theater is now an empty shell as we are hoping somebody could invest time and poll their finances to make this another mandatory destination stop for local residents and out of town visitors. The moral of this story: Don't give up hope as this treasured building will once again enthrall and entertain LIVE audiences. I am pretty certain that will become a reality as our past needs to be preserved in more ways than one and we can once again enjoy the show here in our back yard.
(Cover photo image of The Colonial Theater courtesy of Google Maps)