Colonia fundraiser a success

Going to see movies is all about having fun. Going to a great place like the Colonia Theater is like seeing a bunch of friends. On Wednesday Nov. 6, the Third Annual Fundraiser to benefit the theater was happening and yours truly had the opportunity to be there. Let’s go back in time a little bit.

Beginning in October 2012, Rich and Todd Barnes bought the Colonia when it seemed as though the theater may be closing forever. Since then, the Barnes’ have done everything they can to ensure that this doesn’t happen. From a variety of sources, they have received funding to make all kinds of changes to make it better and upgrade it for movie fans. Things like installing new air conditioning and heating systems, sound systems, and buying state of the art projectors that can show 2D and 3D movies. It’s been a long and difficult process for them but the brothers have been working very hard with the assistance of family and friends.

At the fundraiser, the community was invited to participate in silent and live auctions where a number of items were auctioned off including things like movie scripts and DVDs. Also, there were some unique items including dolls of Princess Diana, movie posters, and even antique items such as hard to find coins. The public was lead on tours by the owners to update them on the upgrades that they have coming including the installation of an elevator for the balcony, more additions coming to the theater, and the plans they have for the balcony.

Some plans for the balcony include adding stages for further events including dinner theater, live comedy, and local restaurants being invited to come in to cater them including Nina’s or Gus’ Steakhouse for example. The balcony will also serve as a third theater for movies so the Colonia will be able to bring in first run movies to Norwich residents quicker. This will allow local residents to be able to stay closer to home and not have to travel as far as Oneonta or Binghamton.

In my time knowing the Barnes’, I have really gotten the feeling from them that they feel a real sense of history not just for the Colonia but for Chenango County. I even ran into Mayor Joseph Maiurano who feels that the owners have done something very positive and continue to work hard to make the theater a place for people to come to.

Toward the end of the evening, movie goers were treated to “Steamboat Willie.” This was the very first appearance of Mickey Mouse and then one of the best action movies ever made, “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Upcoming movies at the Colonia include “Thor: The Dark World,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” and the next installment of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

On a personal note, getting to know these folks has been terrific and see how much they care makes me feel really good and they have always made feel welcome. Even when I’m working and bringing you my latest reviews. Their concession prices are great too.

Contact the Colonia Theater because they’re still taking donations to keep making upgrades. Anything you can donate is welcomed and they are always having special events. If you have any questions, call them at 334-2135 and always check them out on Facebook.

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