Colonial Theater Keene, located in Keene, NH, is like a Grand Old Lady edging closer and closer to her 100th Birthday in 2024. Last year she received much more than just a cosmetic facelift, it was more like a rebirth and not just a renovation using decorative concrete, without losing the integrity of her Historic look and charm. To not violate any of the city of Keene’s Historic District standards, the building’s exterior was untouched. The interior of the theatre has been made much more spacious. Executive Director of the Colonial Theater Alec Doyle said, “What used to be a very narrow or what I call ‘bowling alley’ kind of lobby is now completely opened up to the north and south of the building. We’ve increased the size of the lobby by about four times.” In conjunction with the project designer Weller & Michal Architects, the main contractor DEW Construction selected Bomanite licensee Premier Concrete Construction to complete and realize the vision of the renovation. Dew Construction was familiar with the expertise and craftsmanship of Premier Concrete Construction’s projects using Bomanite Toppings Systems and Bomanite Custom Polishing Systems.
The lobby was not only enlarged, but it is also now handicapped accessible, while retaining the style and color scheme of the original theater. The increased lobby space allows room for a new concessions bar that has been added to the inside of the theatre. Doyle said, “We consciously retrieved and protected a number of the interesting historical architectural pieces.” Some of those pieces include the original ticketing cages, which are now on display on the concessions side of the lobby. Patrons feel like it is a perfect place for a selfie. Like many of the “accent pieces” saved for display, the old ticketing cages reflect the original gold and beige colors of the theater and include original muse motifs.
Supply Chain Bites Construction Schedule
When sourcing the materials from the original specifications, Premier Concrete Construction was confronted with major supply chain issues and was told that nothing would be available until five months after the job was scheduled to begin. Instead, Premier Concrete Construction created and resubmitted samples, which were approved. They ran into the same supply chain issues with the precast cove suppliers, so they opted to set up their own shop and precast over 300LF of cove base and the full set of stairs and risers per specification. They once again demonstrated why they are the concrete company of choice in demanding decorative concrete situations and scenarios. They pride themselves in their craftsmanship, creativity, and competent ability to solve problems.
Premier Concrete Construction chose Bomanite Custom Polishing Systems using Bomanite Modena TG Epoxy Terrazzo with two colors and a diamond strip pattern as per the specifications. Bomanite Modena TG is renowned for its characteristics because it is highly durable including the color, has low lifecycle cost, has excellent abrasion resistance, has a wide variety and size of aggregates, offers a range of aggregate exposure, has a wide color selection to choose from, is integrally colored, and has a highly decorative appearance. It is an engineered polymer-modified cementitious interior floor topping that is bonded to the surface of cured concrete and can transform ordinary concrete into beautiful decorative flooring. Once cured, Bomanite Modena TG is ground to expose the desired amounts of aggregate, then polished to the required gloss level and treated with a Bomanite stain resist. Unlike comparable terrazzo flooring, Bomanite Modena TG is designed specifically to be polished with a fine aggregate gradation similar to that of concrete.
Award Winning Decorative Concrete
Premier Concrete Construction earned the 2021 Best Bomanite Custom Polishing Systems Project Gold Award for this inspirational transformation of a very old landmark. Concrete is what you make of it, and the same can be said of community. The grand reopening of the theater was held on March 29, 2022. The Colonial Theater Keene posted a Facebook page with pictures complete with balloons. The comments included: “Wow”, “Gorgeous”, and “Looks awesome”. On the day before the opening, they posted a wide-angle camera shot and said, “The lobby is OPEN! Free popcorn. Delicious ice cream from Stonewall Farm. Live music. And chances to win tickets, or even a $500 Colonial gift card!” The excitement and enthusiasm from the surrounding community has been palpable and they are not disappointed. The new decorative concrete flooring, the stairs, and the cove base throughout, will enhance the beauty, the enjoyment, and the longevity of this historic theatre well into her next 100 years.