The Peoples Bank Theatre was originally a vaudeville house, built in 1911, with a seating capacity of 657. It was renamed the Colony Cinema in 1949, but has now been reopened under its original name.
The theatre was a destination for traveling live acts, plays, magic lantern projections and later silent moving pictures which were accompanied by live music.
In March of 1980, a failed boiler threatened to close the Colony, but a determined Marjorie Bee, who had worked at the theatre since 1968, made an offer and bought the Colony on February 15th, 1981, making her the theatre’s first local owner.
Forming M.B.M Corporation of Marietta, Mrs. Bee and her sons ran the theatre until low attendance and high heating bills, up to $1,300 per month in 1983 and 1984, forced the closure of the Colony in December 1985.
Local businessman Dan Stephan Sr., purchased the theatre in 1989 in the hope that someday this treasured local landmark might be preserved and restored.
The Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association has successfully restored the theatre to its former glory. Following the lead of other communities throughout the country, this group secured the funding necessary to renovate and reopen this local landmark, allowing it the theatre to reopen its doors in 2016.
The uses for the Peoples Bank Theatre are many and varied. Not only is it once again showing movies on the big screen, but its large stage and accompanying orchestra pit can now accommodate dance recitals, ballet, magic acts, graduations, corporate events, concerts, local plays and touring performances.
Our thanks to Misty Casto, Executive Director at Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District for bringing this to the attention of REVITALIZATION. She was also instrumental in raising the funds to restore the Peoples Bank Theatre.