Our main building is the former Colonial Theatre, built in 1914 as a vaudeville stage later used a movie theater. It was the first large movie house in Western Maryland. Its Baroque design has an extravagant exterior but subdued interior. The interior was altered after a fire in the late 1940s. Bridge of Life Church (then known as “Faith Chapel”) bought the building in 1976. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A Beautiful Interior
Extensive remodeling inside has given the building new life. The main auditorium and balcony area seating for 635. The beautiful entry foyer is use for our Koinonia Café, used as meeting spot for coffee, snacks, and fellowship before Sunday morning worship.
A Fascinating and Historic Facade
The theater was built with a heavily ornamented, Baroque influenced façade, a listed national historic landmark. The most interesting part of the façade includes Baroque figures in a pedimented terra cotta glazed sculpture panel, a fretwork and diamond frieze, and a cornice with dentils.
The sculpture was created by Henri Plasschaert, originally from Belgium, and a famous terra cotta sculpture artist in his day. Plasschaert is the only terra cotta artist known to have signed his work on the facade of any building in NYC, which is an indicator of his reputation as a leading artist of his day. He did so at the German American Shooting Society Clubhouse building (1885) in the St. Mark’s district of NYC. Plasschaert was also commissioned by P.T. Barnum (of Barnum and Bailey’s Circus) to create a series of terra cotta panels for the Barnum Museum (1893) in Bridgeport, Connecticut. These panels are American history told in terra cotta relief, starting from Native Americans to the Industrial Revolution in Brideport. Plasschaert’s signature also appears in terra cotta facades on several other turn-of-the-20th century buildings in cities around the United States and Canada.