Colonial Theater

123 N. Main Street,
Elmira, NY 14901

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drgiraud on July 15, 2021 at 7:34 pm

I saw MAD MAX: BEYOND THUNDERDOME 1st run at the Colonial. They still had working curtains. Great theater.

rivest266 on April 15, 2017 at 2:00 pm

This opened on September 18th, 1911. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

Patsy on February 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm

It is a shame that the Colonial is now a bank, but more importantly that its beautiful interior was changed “back then”…in the “boxofficemagazine” article one can see the elegant interior with the corner organ!

lvBP4evr on June 22, 2012 at 3:46 am

Sadly, this theater had been allowed to fall into disrepair, & eventually was demolished to make way for the hockey arena.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 21, 2012 at 6:27 pm

All the old links to Boxoffice articles that were posted at are dead, and I’m gradually updating them as I come across them. Archived issues of Boxoffice are now in a section called The Vault at the magazine’s own web site.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the old links have the wrong issue dates or wrong pages. Either I made a lot of mistakes, or the magazines at were different editions than the ones now available at The Vault (Boxoffice published a national edition and multiple regional editions, and the content didn’t always match up.)

The magazine has also set up The Vault in a way that makes it inaccessible to search engines, so I can’t always find the new locations of the articles I cited in earlier comments. The article about the Colonial is one of those I can’t find, but I have found the drawing of the proposed redesign of the theater, at the upper right corner of this page of the April 26, 1941, issue.

Patsy on December 29, 2010 at 10:09 am

Joe Vogel: I looked at the Boxoffice Feb. 21, 1942 issue and couldn’t find the Colonial article with photo though I did find the Colonial article in the April 26, 1941 issue. Thanks for the Boxoffice website information as I visit it often now.

Patsy on December 29, 2010 at 10:01 am

After comparing a photo of this theatre in Box Office Magazine I also see that an exterior art piece was either removed or covered over. Hope this theatre is open now.

Patsy on January 17, 2010 at 9:55 pm

And after viewing a photo from the 40’s and then a photo from the 80’s I see the doors were changed just like was done to my hometown theatre. Amazing! Need to know if this theatre is still at 123 Main.

Patsy on January 17, 2010 at 9:50 pm

This one is listed as “closed”, but I just wonder how many of the 19 DeAngelis theatres listed on his architect link as “closed” are actually “demolished”? The Granada is listed as “closed” at the moment, but will be listed as “closed/demolished” soon as demolition was sadly begun on December 30, 2009.

Patsy on January 17, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Joe: Once again, the Boxoffice photos of this theatre are wonderful to see. And again, the half moon windows in the front doors that make full circles when closed are exactly like the door/window design in my hometown former theatre. If you find any other theatre designed by DeAngelis, please notify.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 14, 2010 at 4:08 am

In 1941, the Colonial got a complete Art Moderne makeover, inside and out, designed by architect Michael J. DeAngelis. There are photos in Boxoffice of February 21, 1942.

kencmcintyre on December 30, 2008 at 4:10 pm

This is part of an October 1912 article from the NYT:

SULZER WINS ELMIRANS; A Big Crowd Enjoys His Speech Dealing with Labor Problems

ELMIRA, N.Y., Oct. 25. — Congressman Sulzer and Martin Glynn reached Elmira at 8:40 o'clock to-night in a special train from Binghamton, and were met by Mayor Sheehan, Alexander C. Eustace, and Frank Gannett. The party was escorted to the Colonial Theatre, where more than 2,000 persons had assembled. The meeting was large and enthusiastic. Assemblyman Bush presided, and Mr. Glynn spoke first.

AndrewBarrett on September 19, 2008 at 5:15 am

The Link theatre organ from the Colonial Theatre is for sale! Who wants to buy it?

View link

movietime on January 14, 2007 at 6:44 pm

All the operating theaters in downtown Elmira from the 60’s(maybe earlier) until their demise were owned by the Dipson chain of Batavia, NY. CinemaNational only leased the venues.

joemasher on December 15, 2006 at 6:37 pm

The last chain to operate the Colonial was Loews. It was inherited through its purchase of CinemaNational/USA Cinemas. After Loews closed it, around 1988 or so, it became an independent showing repertory product on a published calendar. After not meeting with much success, it closed for good around 1990 and sat vacant until it was demolished, about 10 years ago. At the time of its closing, the interior was deco in style.
There were two other singles that all closed in the 80’s – the Capitol (demolished), and the Heights (open again). The Elmira 1-2-3 behind the Colonial operated into the early 2000’s and has since been sitting vacant.