United Theatre

5 Canal Street,
Westerly, RI 02891

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Showing 26 - 36 of 36 comments

Hebe on February 15, 2006 at 3:36 pm

On the CinemaTour website, it is stated that Westerly’s United Theater closed for good in 1983, but illegally re-opened in 1984 – I believe the closing date should be 1985: I remember seeing both “Starman” & “Micki & Maude” in late 1984 (both December releases). I also remember seeing “A Nightmare On Elm Street” & “Gremlins” earlier in 1984 @ the theater (probably more – titles evade at this time!). The Westerly Sun ran a really good article on the recent sale and renovations last week as well as a very interesting editorial update/follow-up by one of the Nardone family this week. The Sun’s website also has some really good pix of the inside during the renovations. Steve

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 31, 2005 at 3:38 am

An article in The Providence Journal on November 13, 1971 reported on the town’s attempts to stop a film showing:

Theater Owner Refuses to Halt Film, ‘Together’

The management of the United Theater, Westerly, is refusing to discontinue the showing of the film “Together” from its program, Town Manager Eugene F. Gervasini was informed yesterday.

Irwin A. Cohen, president of C&F Theateres, Inc., of Norwood, Mass., operators of the movie house said, “I just cannot place myself in the position of removing films because the town council does not like it or because there have been some complaints.

“If I were to remove this film at the request of the council, I would be opening the door to such a request on any film that they may not like for whatever reason they may find. I cannot believe that the town council wishes to place themselves in the position of being censors,” Mr. Cohen wrote.

“I am operating a business which is dependent upon the public voluntarily coming to see the films we show. The response of the public in the Westerly situation to the film ‘Together’ certainly, without a doubt, shows that they want to see it. And as adults, they should and do have that right. And I as an exhibitor should and must be able to give the public what they want.”

Mr. Cohen explained to the town manager that the film has played thropughout the country, including several theaters in Rhode Island. These include Wakefield, Narragansett, Woonsocket, Providence, and East Providence.

“The film has been approved for exhibition, without cuts, by the Rhode Island classification board and the Providence Licensing Board,” he said.

[The remainder of the article reports Mr. Cohen clarifying his position further, asserting that no previews would be shown of this movie at kiddie matinees and that no public displays of posters were put up that were deemed offensive for children.]

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 2, 2005 at 12:50 pm

The United Theater, erected by Samuel Nardone, opened on Monday, January 18, 1926, a little more than a year after the tragic fire that had leveled the Bliven Opera House, over on Main Street. The program included five big acts of Paramount vaudeville plus the movie Tessie with Many McAvoy. After opening night, prices would range from 15 cents to 75 cents. In addition to the orchestra, there was mezzanine and loge seating. The total capacity was 1100. The stage is said to have been the largest of any city or town between Providence and New London. The theatre was initially part of the chain United Theatres of America. The building block that was constructed along with the theatre had room for several shops.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 1, 2005 at 1:33 am

In July of 1931, not only was there a film on the bill, Annabelle’s Affairs with Jeanette MacDonald and Victor McLaglen, but also five acts of Keith-Albee vaudeville.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 27, 2005 at 11:25 am

Beginning February 24, 1935, the United’s programs for the week would be: Sun.-Wed., David Copperfield, Thurs.-Sat., Rumba & That’s Gratitude.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 15, 2005 at 7:13 am

Finally. Hallelujah!

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on May 5, 2005 at 4:02 am

The United has been sold. Close to $1 million worth of renovations are expected to take place before it reopens as a combination cinema/live theatre.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 3, 2005 at 8:02 am

Link to my pic of the United.
View link

mmessier13 on September 1, 2004 at 1:17 pm

Does anyone have any updates on this theatre? I would love to check it out if it available.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 1, 2004 at 4:43 am

It would have been great if some entrepreneur had been able to convert this place into a three-screen art/independent house. It might have done well since there is no competition for that type of fare in the area, the nearest being in Providence, about an hour away with its Avon and Cable Car cinemas. Westerly supports a theatre company and the amazing Westerly Chorus. Why not a movie theatre of this type which would complement, not compete with, the mainstream Stonington Cinemas megaplex across the border in Connecticut?