Colonial Theater

492 Farmington Avenue,
Hartford, CT 06105

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: James A. Tuck

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: Cinerama Theatre

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News About This Theater

Colonial Theater skeleton - 2001

The Colonial Theater was once a beautiful, Neo-Classical style treasure in Hartford’s West End. Opened on September 13, 1926 with Viola Dana in “Bred in Old Kentucky”. It was equipped with a Marr and Colton organ. By 1933 it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. The Colonial Theater became a venue for Cinerama from September 20, 1961 playing “This Is Cinerama”. It closed in July 1984 after surviving on a diet of Spanish-language, kung fu, blaxploitation and adult porn films.

After an almost 20 year silence, preservationists fought a tough battle against developers in 2000 - and lost. Most of the theater has now been demolished and only its skeleton remains.

A new restaurant was built behind the façade of the Colonial Theater and opened in July of 2004.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

Cinerama on December 15, 2009 at 6:42 am

Hi Chuck,

I would love to see pictures of the Colonial when it was a Cinerama theatre.



Harvey on February 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Article on The Colonial as a kung-fu house circa 1983 here.

EdmundGlazer on September 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm

If anyone wants more information on the Colonial/Cinerama theatre, email to I worked as a projectionst at the theatre for 15 years. ED Glazer

nritota on October 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm

When were you there? Was it during the Lockwood & Gordon years or later?

rivest266 on February 22, 2017 at 3:51 am

This opened on September 20th, 1961. Grand opening ad in the photo section

Found on powered by

Cinerama on March 9, 2017 at 9:09 am

I will be updating my web site in the future with ads and articles on the Cinerama aka Colonial theatre.

DavidZornig on June 26, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Mid `60’s photo as Cinerama added courtesy of Theo Tersteeg.

Cinerama on July 29, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Just updated Cinerama aka Colonial theatre with ads and articles from 1961 to 2000 –

vindanpar on September 27, 2020 at 4:56 am

Another classic roadshow cinema that turned overnight into a porn exploitation palace.

MSC77 on December 30, 2021 at 3:54 pm

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. The Cinerama’s lengthy run is mentioned in the piece.

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