Marietta landmark undergoes restoration [Ohio]

By Amy Kauffman, The Marcolian
Published: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Updated: Friday, November 18, 2011 14:11

On a typical Sunday night in 1940s Marietta, you could find many teenagers out at the Colony Theatre for “date night.” They would go have spaghetti at Brunicardi’s for 15 cents a plate, then go see a movie at the Colony Theatre for 25 cents.

Katy Smithberger, Sigma Kappa’s house mom, has lived in the area her entire life and was there to see a lot of the acts perform. She loved being able to have a night out at the Colony. The theater attracted people from all over the Midwest. Marietta College students and local residents loved being so close to this professional venue. In its prime, the stage was graced by some of America’s most famous entertainers, politicians and other celebrities. Some of its guests included Boris Karloff, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Dick Van Patten, Tex Ritter, Minnie Pearl, Kitty Wells, Ernest Tubb, Randy Travis and many more.

The Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association has been working to restore the theater for more than 10 years. The Colony will have 1,000 seats and a stage that is 35 feet deep by 55 feet wide, making it an extremely versatile performance venue. It will house major touring acts as well as many local arts organizations. The Colony Theatre restoration should take about a year to complete after finances go through. The association anticipates starting construction in 2012.

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