Colonia renovation fundraiser aims to bring something new downtown

NORWICH – Since purchasing the Colonia Theater building last fall, brothers Rich and Todd Barnes have taken enormous strides in keeping the iconic marquee lit.

Now, as theater renovations continue to move forward, the community is reaching out to help. Plans are in the works to hold a Colonia Theater renovation fundraiser to keep the Norwich landmark a staple in the community.

The fundraiser will be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at the theater on South Broad Street. All proceeds will go toward renovations of Colonia’s third screening room, the balcony area that once seated guests for live stage performances a century ago.

Restoration of the balcony is the most challenging and most costly hurdle in the renovation process, say the Barnes’. Though it has been closed off to the public for nearly two decades, plans are to construct a third screening room complete with a digital projector and digital sound.

But what makes the third screening room particularly unique to the Colonia are ideas to utilize floor space in the balcony area for movie goers to sit and eat in front of the big screen.

“Plans are to make it a space where people can come in with the food they order from local restaurants, and sit and watch a movie,” explained Leslie Barnes, assistant manager at the Colonia. “With this (fundraiser), we are hoping to have the third theater open faster and keep more business in the downtown area.”

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