Showing 26 - 50 of 96 comments
Marialivia, oops, Slater Trust became Pawtucket Savings and Loan first. Sorry.
Marialivia, here is a southerly view of the bank on the corner of Main and East Avenue. It is the Slater Trust Bank and I think it became the Old Colony many years later.
I believe the building with the spires was later razed and replaced with the Albert Vitale building and yes, it was also a bank (with a walk up night deposit drawer) but not the Slater Trust on the corner.
Look at Gerald’s picture of the Globe and notice the Music Hall two buildings up. Then look at this picture and see the Music Hall and directly across the street is the white Vitale building. This picture was about 1925. This is fun!!
Wow! Great picture Gerald and hopefully more info about this theater will become available!
For some reason, I seem to fall for theaters that were transitional from the ‘vaudes’ and ‘flickers’ to the ‘talkies’. he-he, I just seem to have a hard time finding affection for late model theaters especially the megaplexes of our days.
Thanks for the picture!!
Here is a newspaper ad for the Lincoln Theater which was the last name for the theater at this location.
What I find rather amusing is the mention of Liberace’s first movie. The clipping was from 1956.
Okay, I’m going to go out on a limb here and ask but, why do you want pictures of XXX theaters with the marquees?
I can think of a few reasons for such a request. One would be for the sake of academia; documentation is needed to show how porn actually save many movie theaters from the wrecking ball; to document that porn takes in almost as much money than the legitimate movie industry or the pictures are needed for some sort of art collage.
Please don’t take offense as I am sure many here are just curious.
I just love reading about the turn of the century theaters and their transformation to movie houses.
What I found particularly interesting was the newspaper ad for the Thornton Theater. The ad states the fee of .10c and .01c for War Tax. WWI, that is as Stolen Hours came out in 1918!!
Gerald, you beat me to it! I was just checking this listing to see if an interior shot was given and lo and behold, you already have it! Great job. For reference, the picture I have (which is the one you’ve posted) came from a book called Providence: A pictoral history by Patrick Conley. He is/was a prolific writer of RI history.
Thanks for those pictures though. I think nothing please the mind’s eye greater than a photo. I think we both have his desire to go back and see these great theaters in their heyday.
I came across an 1872 picture of the Providence Music Hall if you need another picture. I have a lot of picture scanning to do this weekend. So if you would like the picture, I can host it.
Gerald, I talked with a lady that knew about the building that was used for the John St. Theater. The building was nondescript and recalls it being an Amvets Club type building and not really a theater per se. After reading about the old theaters of the 1920’s and 30’s, it seems that a lot of theaters were no more than halls that sported a screen and a portable projector. From her description, this particular theater was of that genre. She believes the building was razed (as you state) many decades ago and possibly in the 50’s.
The architects for the Music Hall were Stone & Carpenter out of Providence, RI
For Gerald; here is an illustrative picture of the Music Hall in Providence.
For Marialivia; my mother remembers what she calls these ‘cylinder’ things on some ‘strings’ at Peerless Co. He-he, I guess that’s close enough! I do recall a cylinder and vacuum system for some downtown Providence stores like Shepards and the Outlet.
My mother asked me to tickle your memory and so I don’t throw this thread way off target, pardon me if I don’t reply. She wants to know if you remember the name of a downtown store that could have been a Fanny Farmer that sold fresh roasted peanuts and chocolates? Also, she seems to think it was next door to a music store with the record listening booths. The names of both stores if you can remember.
Marialivia, thanks for your invaluable contribution as someone who actually worked there!!
My bad on Daltons, I meant Grants!
You knew Albo!?!
Mention of Roxy in this news brief
Gerald, I agree with the thought of ‘Revitalization’ being synonomous with destruction. Downtown never regained its former glory. Even as a child, I loved going with my mother to Shartenburg’s to get my Cub/Boy Scout uniforms and walking into Peerless or Dalton’s. We often got out shoes from Modern Shoe. Downtown Pawtucket was a treat. I never realized the history of the Music Hall building until two days ago. There was the Roger Williams Hotel that catered to middle class but was used as a redlight hotel in the 60’s and converted to office space sometime in the 70’s.
Anyway, sidenote here, directly across from the Music Hall is a white granite building that was called the Albert Vitaldi (or Vitali) building and was the Bard Hotel. It was either he or his son that was responsible for restoring the Leroy theater in the 80’s. Sadly, the corrupt city council would not give him some tax incentives to ease his losses. Yes, LOSSES, as the man was more interested in saving the Leroy than making a profit.
I do not know offhand if the upstairs existed as a theater by the time Peerless moved in the first floor. However, the first floor was always used for commercial stores while the theater was on the second floor. There is this one guy that I see a couple times a week and I will ask him if he knows when the theater closed or if it was converted to other uses.
Here is a picture of Downtown Pawtucket circa 1925. The Music Hall is the first building on the lower right side of the photo. You can see this was before the Art Deco period and Modern Shoe is on the first floor to the right.
Here is an illustrative view of the original Music Hall.
The Music Hall in full dress for the 1890 Cotton Celebration.
Lastly, two photos showing the completed facade change to Art Deco in 1937. The two stores on the first floor were The Peerless Company and Modern Shoe.
Re: Music Hall. Here is what I found about the Music Hall in Providence. Each paragraph was taken from a different source and note the address change.
MUSIC HALL, 276 Westminster St., is used for concerts, lectures, fairs, etc. Its shape is rectangular, 105 feet long, 85 feet wide. A gallery runs along three sides, and an upper gallery in the rear. The hall contains a fine and powerful Hook & Hastings concert organ. Stage accommodates an orchestra of 60, and 300 singers. Seating capacity of auditorium, 2,200. The hall was enlarged, and the interior arrangement completely reversed, in 1881.
Providence is well supplied with public halls and places of amusement, some of which are ranked among the first in New England. Music Hall, No. 266 Westminster Street, is one of the largest in the city. Its dimensions are: Length, 106 feet; breadth, 85 feet; height, 52 feet; with a seating capacity of 2,250. Music Hall is especially adapted for fairs, as the main floor has an area of 6,888 square feet. A spacious gallery, extending around the four sides, furnishes seating capacity for 1,100 persons. In short, Music Hall, for concerts, fairs, lectures, school exhibitions, and first-class entertainments, possesses advantages second to no other hall in America. The Providence Opera House, Low’s Opera House, and the Academy of Music are other well-known places of amusement.
The seating capacity was 800 and often had the Standing Room Only sign on display. In 1915, it shared the entertainment duties with four other well known theaters.
After its close, New York Lace store took over the lobby and soon spread out into the entire building and adjacent buildings on that block until it vacated the premises in the 50’s.
Gerald, the only pieces of info I have about the Globe was that it was on the corner of Main and Roosevelt (North Main) Sts. I seem to recall reading that the Globe was originally known simply as The Opera House in the 1890’s and competed directly with the Music Hall. FYI, Mill St. became North Main which became Roosevelt in 1933 to honor the President.
I’ve added an entry for the Music Hall and when the New Theater entry becomes active I will host four pictures.
Also, the Scenic and Star opened in 1911.
I do have some statistics info on the Music Hall in Providence on Westminster street if you need it.
Okay, just didn’t want to jump in without knowing if you already had intentions of doing so. FWIW, that picture I placed above shows the Music Hall and Peerless once occupied the first floor. The building goes back to 1880. I’ll submit something later tonight.
Gerald, are you going to put in an entry for the Music Hall? I have info, pictures and luckily, testimony of someone who went there as a kid.
That is some awesome due diligence on this and other Providence theaters! I love the story about Chaplin when he was a relatively unknown at the time. I only have one Chaplin movie in my collection “City of Lights” and he was splendid.
Oh what I would do to go back to the heydays of opera/vaudeville/theater/silents/talkies entertainment districts. I’ve often wondered if Chaplin and others of his time including Fatty Arbuckle and Harold Lloyd knew the tremendous impact and contributions they were making to other aspiring comics.
Gerald, here is a top level URL for quickpix.net It gives easy access to several different city library collections.
I am going to take a ride down Main St. tomorrow to find out exactly where 229 Main St. is located. I think I’m in error about the EXACT location of the Music Hall.
No, I have coming across any mention of the Crown but I’ll keep a sharper eye out for any text of picture caption.
Nice, nice photo of the exterior though and looks like it’s rather rare. I must admit being a little disorientated, is the picture you are showing of the present day police station? FWIW, Roosevelt Ave in Central Falls was called Mill St. until the name change.
Here is another theater that I need to explore a little more but I cannot seem to find a lot about it. It was called the New Pastime Theater and sat at the corner of Exchange and High Sts. presently the parking lot of Major Electric. I seem to recall it being listed in City Directories until 1915 so I can only ASSUME it showed the ‘flickers’ but I’ve often seen the words (moving pictures)near the theater name. I haven’t seen this yet. The picture is 1904.