If you grew up in Augusta, the memories are there. Saturday afternoon matinees. Vacation week watching movies at the old Colonial with friends. Lines formed up to and across the old downtown bridge waiting to get into the theater.

The Colonial Theater was opened in downtown Augusta in 1913. In its heyday, the Colonial was a primary site for entertainment for residents before the age of automobiles, videos, cable TV and NetFlix. The theater closed in the late 1960s due to declining ticket sales. Mothballed and only used for storage, the building’s roof began to deteriorate. Without regular maintenance, water began to leak into the building and eventually causing three large holes in the wooden auditorium floor.

A group of local citizens formed a group,  Augusta Colonial Theater, which is a not-for-profit organization formed to facilitate the preservation and restoration of the historic Colonial Theater in Augusta, Maine and utilize the facility as a diverse, multi-purpose entertainment venue.

According to centralmaine.com, Augusta City Manager William Bridgeo will recommend offering $300,000 in city money as a “challenge grant” to help spur fundraising for a $6 million proposal to renovate and reopen the theater Thursday night at the city council meeting. Bridgeo said a restored theater could help return prosperity to the city’s downtown and a show of financial commitment to the project by the city could help private fundraising efforts.

Augusta Downtown Alliance/Facebook

The public is invited to attend the Augusta City Council meeting Thursday night October 12 at City Hall.