Comments from Roland L.

Showing 51 - 75 of 96 comments

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Imperial Theater on Jun 26, 2005 at 6:45 pm

Gerald, the address for the Music Hall is 229 Main St. I knew I had scans from a 1918 City Directory somewhere.

Here is a picture of Main St. looking west from East Ave. The locale I gave you is pretty close but after looking at this picture, I might be a building or two off.

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The picture is circa 1920. At the bottom left is Canton Restaurant which was hugely popular. Directly across the street was Modern Shoe. I don’t know about Canton Restaurant but I went to the Modern Shoe when I was a kid and that was many years after this picture was taken.

Now, onto the Music Hall. On the left hand side, south side of Main St., is a building called Shartenburg’s Stores. It’s address was 264 Main so you can see 229 Main St. was just up the road to the top of the picture. The very top of the picture of Trinity Square as Broad St. deposits into Main St. from the right hand side.

Here are some other theaters on Main St. and local in 1918. I recall reading somewhere that Pawtucket could entertain the palate of any taste within ¼ mile from the Imperial eastward to East Ave.

Bijou — 30 Broad St. New York Lace later took building until the 50's
Scenic — 156 Main St.
Globe — 175 Main St.
Star — 116 North Main

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Imperial Theater on Jun 26, 2005 at 3:39 pm

Gerald, the Music Hall was approximately where the Registry of Motor Vehicle was until a couple of years ago. If you follow Broad St. into downtown Pawtucket, you will hit a stop sign at Main St. That section was called Trinity Square because of the three streets that joined there.

If you are on Broad St. and hit the Trinity Square, directly in front and a little to the left was the location of the Music Hall. Going on memory of what I’ve read, this building was there until the 60’s.

The Music Hall was like most other theaters at that time was for opera and theater.

By 1915, there were five theaters operating in downtown Pawtucket area. The Imperial being the last to be built.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Imperial Theater on Jun 23, 2005 at 4:28 am

I meant American Mutoscope, not American Mutant.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Imperial Theater on Jun 22, 2005 at 7:45 pm

Gerald, I know you’ve expressed a desire to be able to travel back and visit some of the theaters of yesteryear. Me too!!

Barring any real progress in quantum physics, the best we can do is view some very old film footage.

Here’s a link that I think you might enjoy.

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/

Type in ‘Early Films’ in the search box. The resulting pages will show some very, very pre-1900 films of Edison and American Mutant film companies. I believe if you go through enough links that you’ll also see Vitograph.

There are also some local interest films from Newport Naval and Hope Webbing.

Be careful with that website. If you’re like me and get distracted easily, it could be an hour or two before you return!! Enjoy the trip.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Bates Theatre on Jun 22, 2005 at 6:19 pm

The Bates Opera House opened on Sept. 30th, 1886 with the play Richelieu starring Lawrence Barrett. The building itself was erected and donated to the city of Attleboro by Joseph M. Bates, a noted local jewelry manufacturer.

The original opera house had the lobby on the second floor and the ornate boxes occupied the second floor but the theater ceiling did sweep up and occupy most of the third floor.

On January 31, 1912, a steam automobile was turning the corner of North Main St. lost control and actually backed into the plate glass window of a store on the first floor. The vehicle exploded inside the shop and caught fire to the shop. The Bates Opera Theater was significantly destroyed and the ornate seating boxes and crystal chandelier were lost.

It took one year to rebuild sans ornate seating boxes and the elaborate glass chandelier fashioned for the original theater. A fourth floor was added to the building at this time and the name was changed to the New Bates Theater owned by the Bates Theater Company.

The Bates Opera House starting showing silent films in 1909 to compete with the Columbia Theater on Bank St. and lured Thomas Heywood from the Orpheum Theater located on Pine and Park Sts.

In 1915, the New Bates Theater was the first in the city to show a full-length movie (12 reels) called “Birth of a Nation”. This picture was originally traveled with its own orchestra!

I’ll be posting more on the creation of the Orpheum (very interesting!), Gem, Park and Star theaters separately.

The Bates Theater Company would later acquire the Columbia Theater in 1915 but let it run independently until 1924 where management would later affiliate the Columbia and New Bates theaters.

In 1928, the New Bates and Columbia Theaters were leased to the Savoy Corporation. The Columbia continued under their direction until 1935 when it was razed.

I am still unclear as to the last year the New Bates Theater operated. According to print, I can only assume that the New Bates ran until at least 1946 where the owners had plans to modernize the theater. Television and other factors forced them to abandon their plans and soon afterwards new plans utilizing the area for office space soon appeared.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Fairlawn Theatre on Jun 21, 2005 at 5:51 pm

If I am not mistaken, there was a fire of ‘suspicious’ nature after the theater closed. Wasn’t in on the present day parking lot near the hardware store?

I too saw Last House on the Left and Emperor of the North at the Fairlawn. (he-he) Brings back memories because I went with a group of people when I worked at the Burger Chef on Lonsdale Avenue!!

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Fairlawn Theatre on Jun 21, 2005 at 5:51 pm

If I am not mistaken, there was a fire of ‘suspicious’ nature after the theater closed. Wasn’t in on the present day parking lot near the hardware store?

I too saw Last House on the Left and Emperor of the North at the Fairlawn at the Fairlawn. (he-he) Brings back memories because I went with a group of people when I worked at the Burger Chef on Lonsdale Avenue!!

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about RKO Albee Theatre on Jun 20, 2005 at 10:48 am

Thanks Gerald!!

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about RKO Albee Theatre on Jun 19, 2005 at 9:50 pm

Gerald, where did you find a copy of Temples of Illusions? I’ve had a search running on eBay for a few months now and no hits yet. Amazon.com has it listed but no copies.

A few months ago I came across a copy at the Rhode Island reading room at the Pawtucket library. I was told by the librarian helper that it was the ONLY copy that she knew existed. You are so correct though, it is a MUST read for anyone interested in the origins of local theater for the Providence area. Heck, it even mentions White Tower!!

There was one particular photo that I found disturbing. I don’t know if it was Mr. Fay but the photo showed the owner of a theater standing in the rubble of once was his theater. I can just imagine what this guy was feeling at the time.

There is another website called Art In Ruins that deals with Providence buildings for the most part. I’ve written to them in the past to see if they could add a theater category to their mix. No replies yet.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Bates Theatre on May 12, 2005 at 8:32 pm

I took these pictures today. Here is a picture of the plaque commemorating the Bates Opera House. This is NOT the bronze plaque that used to be here some 20 years ago. The building in the background with gold brick is the Bronson Building. The plaque is in front of the Bates Building on Park St.

Oh, the address for the building is 4 Park St.

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Here is a picture of the building as it exists today. The Cooper store is now located on the left side of the building on North Main St.

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If you have time on your hands, go to the new entrance of the building on 7 North Main St. to the left of Coopers. There are a few blown up 1890’s pictures of the building with this exact viewing angle.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Bates Theatre on May 12, 2005 at 7:07 am

Here are some more pictures of the Bates and a treat for Craig P, it also shows Coopers!

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Look at the top right for a collage postcard view.

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Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Bates Theatre on May 12, 2005 at 5:06 am

lostmemory, just a few pages deeper into that article you found was this picture.

I worked in Attleboro for over 25 years and I believe there is a bronze plaque marking the Bates Motel location also.

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Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Broadway Theatre on May 9, 2005 at 5:28 am

I have an aunt looking for photos of this theater. I am working diligently trying to obtained photos of every theater where I’ve made comment.

Those who are younger might recall A&S Wheel and Brake Service which occupied the building until it was razed to put in the small strip of stores. I never knew this building was a theater and I remember when the building was razed somewhere around 1978.

For those familiar with Pawtucket and Broadway, the theater was indeed to the right of Risho’s Market in the big parking lot.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Bellevue Theatre on May 9, 2005 at 5:19 am

I now have four people who attend this theater on the lookout for photos of this theater and one thinks he has pictures of the Imperial Theater in Pawtucket.

Here’s the good news. All remember that the Crawley’s did run the theater and lived on the corner of Rand and Dexter streets.

Here’s the better news. A lady that I see almost 2-3 times a week is the Crawley’s daughter and I never knew it! My mother confirmed this fact with this lady on Saturday so when the lady this week, I’ll ask if she can help us out with pictures or any artifacts. Oh, this lady is a nun!!!

I thought the Lafayette was everyone’s favorite theater in Central Falls but I guess not. It appears the Bellevue was the place to go.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Holiday Cinema on May 4, 2005 at 4:44 am

MSStrong, your grandfather owned Bill’s Bowlaway!?! OMG, I spent a great deal of time on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I remember you could get three strings for a dollar!!

I miss the Holiday Cinema and particularly when it was the Lafayette.

I am going to assume something on my part, but do you have a brother name Kurt? No need to say more than yes/no..

Gerald gives an awful lot of dedication and time to this particular website and I appreciate all that he has contributed.

I just got started! Congratulations on your appointment to the Ritz in Ohio!! Must seem like a dream come true. I envy you.

Have you given any comments about the Ritz on this website or if the theater entry doesn’t exist, why not start one going?

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Casino Theater on Apr 22, 2005 at 6:49 am

Through my error, I completely left out the fact that this theater was situated soley on the third floor of the Jacques Cartier building.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Casino Theater on Apr 22, 2005 at 5:27 am

Gerald, you unknowingly took a picture of this Casino Theater!! Take a look at your Holiday Cinema photo. Look just above the blue building in that photo to the row of white windows. That is the third floor of the Jacques Cartier building where the Casino Theater resided!! It is the Foundry St. side of the building. Nice job!!

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Casino Theater on Apr 21, 2005 at 10:19 pm

Gerald, yes, it is directly across from the Central Falls Credit Union on Broad St. in Central Falls.

Here’s a picture of the building.

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I went to this building today and to make a long story short, the owner approached me on Broad St because I was snooping around.

I explain that I would like to take pictures of the theater but he said they were putting in apartments. I KNOW they were not up to the third floor yet.

When pressed a little further about the theater, he did tell me that the stage area still exists. I asked if I could have his permission to take pictures of the theater but he denied.

Gerald, I walk with a cane and I believe he said no because of the insurance liability due to the small interior construction that was going on.

If you go to this locale, the entrance is just to the left of the HR Block sign with the 708 address. There is a white button that I believe is the general buzzer for the contractor which I believe is the owner. He looked dusty!! The building is NOT occupied yet.

I truly believe that if I were NOT disabled and needed a cane, he would have let me up there. I have this very, very empty feeling because I was not able to go up there because it’s only a matter of time before the stage area is destroyed.

If you walk down Foundry St. and look up towards the third floor windows (no curtains) at the end of the building, you can still see the door that led to the stage area. Also, note the fancy ceiling work of the late 1800’s. The stage area is NOT small. If you look the windows closest to Broad St, you can still make out the area that I believed was the projectionist’s room or lighting control for the stage.

Here is a picture of the stairway to the second floor.

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Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Broadway Theatre on Apr 21, 2005 at 8:19 pm

Gerald, I did do some research on this theater while I was at the library.

It was called the Circle Theater from 1928-1934 and in 1935 it became the Broadway until it no longer operated in 1959. It was listed as vacant from that time on.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Broadway Theatre on Apr 17, 2005 at 4:58 am

Boy, I am having this picture stick in my head concerning this theater. I use to hang around Broadway in my later teens and knew a LOT of Broadway people including the owner of Broadway Pizza and Risho’s Market.

Anyway, directly across from Broadway Pizza at 511 Broadway was this building to the right of the older Risho’s Market. I recall the building was brickfaced and painted white but there were these trim bricks that were painted red, kind of like they were attempting some castle or armory effect. I also recall the “Year Built” badge close to the top of the building. It was not a big building, single story but fairly deep. It was not operational when I knew this building which was mid 70’s.

It would be located in the parking lot of the NEW Risho’s Market. That’s if Risho’s is still there.

Was this the Broadway Theater?

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Bellevue Theatre on Apr 16, 2005 at 2:13 pm

Gerald, I am not sure if I remember the theater but I have plenty of friends that lived on or around Broadway in Pawtucket. I was a frequent customer of Barry’s Pharmacy on Broadway. It was the last true drug/soda fountain store that I recall.

I’ll ask my friends.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Bellevue Theatre on Apr 16, 2005 at 4:34 am

Marialivia, the reason I knew the name of the cop and the ticket lady was that I talked with a lady who is approaching her 80th birthday. Funny though the ocnversation started on an unrelated matter but when I expressed my interest in the old theaters, she started off with the Bellevue and asked if I knew about it.

She just went on an on about the theaters like the Capitol, Strand, Leroy, Lafayette, etc,… She told me the origins of how Eddie’s Ice Cream Parlor started as Ed owned the concession stand at the Lafayette before branching off into an ice cream place on the corner of Broad and Blackstone streets……

Sorry, getting off topic as I should stick to theaters but I just get too excited!!!

She is looking for pictures that she may have of the Bellevue and other theaters.

Another tidbit, Mr. Balfour, the ‘cop’, lived at Wilfrid Manor on Hunt St, Central Falls until his 95th or 96th birthday.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Bellevue Theatre on Apr 15, 2005 at 9:38 pm

Marialivia, oh do I have a treat for you.

The man who played the ‘cop’ was Thomas Balfour and it was a constables outfit. Mr. Balfour was also given the piano that was in the theater before it was raised.

Guess what his second job was at the theater? He was the projectionist!!

Oh, the lady who sold the tickets and ran the concessions was Annie Lamoreux and she was actually in a convent at one time but they sort of rejected her!!

I bet you’re wondering how I know this info, huh?

Pictures are being sought right now of this theater.

Also, do you remember a place near the Leroy called the Candy Kettle?

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Majestic Theatre on Apr 14, 2005 at 2:15 pm

Gerald, no I didn’t!! I admit that I would not have known that it was a White Tower. My mother kept always mentioned a White Tower. I would correct her and iterate it was White Castle and we’d go round and round.

Moms are always right!!

I just blew up the picture. Carmen Miranda is on the smaller corner marquee.

Roland L.
Roland L. commented about Majestic Theatre on Apr 14, 2005 at 7:09 am

I just love this picture of the Majestic. Note the name Don Ameche to the right.

I recall Don Ameche hosting this Circus show and I believe it was on Sunday nights.

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