Showing 1 - 25 of 73 comments
Tne branch of the Crawley family that I knew lived on Pine Street back then, but I’m sure they were related to the theater owners. I was sad to hear that Billy Crawley, the one I knew best and whom I dated in high school, had passed away, as well as his sister Ruth. I still hope to see photos someday of the old “Belly-ache” and of the Fairlawn! ML
I’m always so delighted to hear mention of the Strand Theater! As I have mentioned previously, I was employed back in the late 40s as a “candy girl” at the Strand in Pawtucket, which was owned by the same folks that owned the Newport Strand, and the manager who was my “boss” in Pawtucket, a Harold Lancaster, had previously been manager of the Strand in Newport.
Thanks for posting this article! Marialivia
Thanks Gerald. I am now a resident of Ellington, Conn. and seldom get back to RI these days, because I’d love to. I LOVE that library in Pawtucket (“Deborah Cooke Sayles,” if I remember correctly). I just might get there sometime! I no longer have family in RI so it would have to be a “day trip.” It surely would be fun though! Thanks for all you do on these boards. ML
Thanks for yet another fine contribution, Gerald! I’m still looking for information on the Fairlawn (Pawtucket), mostly because I’m trying to remember when it actually opened. I remember seeing “Gone With the Wind” there with my family, and my recollection (which may be faulty) is that GWTW was the opening offering at the Fairlawn. In one of your previous postings, you state that GWTW had a “first-run” engagement at the Jane Pickens Theater in 1940, so it’s possible that it was 1940 when the Fairlawn opened. I don’t believe it was “first-run” (the Fairlawn was not a first-run theater), so it could have been later in 1940, when I would have been 8 years old. There was a great deal of talk about GWTW for along time before I saw it, so it’s possible that the second runs were late in 1940.
Good Morning! Yes, the “replacement” Howard Bldg. is still there. I retired from my job in Prov. in Oct. of 2003, but I seem to remember the “old days” much more clearly! I loved the OLD Arcade (before it was “spruced up” and miss the nice restaurants and tearooms). Thanks so much for the link — can’t wait to look at it! ML
Ah, success!! (It’s actually 6:08pm, not 3:08, however.) First, the postcards are wonderful! The later one, with Union Trust on the right side, is across from the Howard Building, where I worked for 4 years from 1950-54 — the building was irreparably damaged by one of the hurricanes (Hurricane Carol maybe?) Also, we hung out in Gibson’s (later McGarry’s) at street level. I was in error in a previous posting when I referred to the Prov. Gas Company being located at Westminster and Orange. Actually, it is at the corner of Weybosset and Orange, a block away. This Bijou was before my time — it’s the other one I remember, the one further west on Westminster. (The Howard Bldg. was at 171 Westminster and the Union Trust at 170. I believe these are still the addresses.) SO the Bijou would have been close to them at 164. Marialivia
Gerald, I’ve been trying to respond ever since you posted your recent postcard! I finally resorted to contacting the site managers and was told to log out and then log on again. When I submit, nothing happens! This is a test — if it goes through, I’ll return and make my comments. Thank you again! Marialivia
Yes, now I recall our previous discussion. The second Empire existed for a time simultaneously with The Bijou. This would have been in the mid- to late 40s when I walked that way to my piano lessons. Yes, I remember exactly where Grant’s was located!
Wow, I never knew this and never could imagine that the Divine Sarah would appear at Fays, and especially the Empire!!
This one surprises me — I still wish I had gone back there a couple of times. I suppose I would have done so if I had known it was to be soon gone.
What a beautiful place!! Thank goodness this one is still with us.
Yes, it would be more expensive as it was a “first-run” theater, whereas the Lafayette was not. When I read these postings, it seems so impossible that so many years have elapsed!
I had thought it was gone by 1958, but apparently my recollection is faulty. I moved out of RI for a couple of years (1956-58), and I had thought that the Strand was gone by the time I returned. I’m sure I never attended the theater after coming back to Pawtucket — but perhaps that recollection is faulty as well. I knew the theater so well from working there in 1948-49, but of course that’s a VERY long time ago!! I do remember wishing that I could have gone inside just one more time before it was demolished.
Yes, I knew Mr. Fisher from frequenting the Fairlawn. He lived in a lovely house on Cobble Hill Road that was known as “Cobblehurst.” I always thought it would be great to live in a house like that!! Thanks again for the info. (I didn’t know that his mother was the owner.)
I’m so glad to have at least this further info on my favorite haunt in my growing-up days. As I’ve said in previous postings, I spent every Saturday matinee (and sometimes Sundays if I could wangle it) in this place and knew every fraction of a millimeter of it!! I’ve been trying for a long time to find out exactly when it opened, and your info on the listing in FDY in 1941 is of great interest to me. I recall that my parents took me to see “Gone With the Wind” there — the theater was new and it was the first time I’d been there. I’ve never understood how GWTW could be around for that length of time, because it was released in 1939, if I am correct. However, it was a phenomenon never duplicated in my lifetime, and perhaps it was shown and re-shown in these second-run theaters. I do recall that the Darlton Theater opened a bit prior to the Fairlawn, but I’ve never been able to pin down when it opened.
I did read about this film on IMDB and would be very interested in seeing it. I recall the general way of life and the way of thinking in Pawtucket back then (although I was probably in the second grade), and I can well imagine that it would have been considered “porn” back then. I plan to ask my movie maven son whether he might have a copy or know where we can get one.
I remember going to the Capitol to see the serial “Green Hornet” (we then called them “chapter pictures”) and received a free comic book, which I treasured. The Capitol became “declasse” a short time later, and I was not allowed to go there. But one of my favorite family stories (all true) involves my dear grandmother winning a LIVE turkey at the Capitol and taking it home with her on the bus!! (None of us had cars in those days.)
It would be interesting to see that film now for historical purposes, but most likely it would be “tame” by today’s standards. I’m going to look it up on IMDB and see what I can learn about its U.S. release. It may just be that Lamarr had just come upon the scene in Hollywood and there was heightened interest in her past (maybe even by press agents?)
This is actually funny to me, because I remember the notorious Harry Curvin very well and witnessed his machinations in the State Legislature in the early fifties. I wonder if they allowed him to chomp on his cigar whilst he witnessed the beauteous Miss Lamarr’s nudity? Incidentally, the Czech film “Ecstasy” was made in 1933, and by 1939 Hedy Lamarr was up and coming in Hollywood and had gone on to more “mainstream” films. I believe it was that year that she appeared in “Algiers,” where Charles Boyer entreated her, “Come wiz me to de Casbah.” Obviously, it took a while for “Ecstasy” to get to Pawtucket!!
Yes, I remember this event. So very sad that Pawtucket has changed so drastically. The way of life is positively diametric to the way we lived back then. Actually, right about this time on a Sunday afternoon, I’d be returning home from the movies, possibly the Leroy!
Thanks Warren!! Had I known during my RI days that the Jane Pickens is the former Strand, I would have gone inside!! Well, I guess I can still do so when the tourist season is over. I’m glad to have this piece of history you’ve provided about the ownership of the three theaters, and that the present Jane Pickens is indeed part of the package. ML
Rarnold: I am a born-and-bred Rhode Islander who is now firmly transplanted into Conn. I might be of the same “vintage” as you, as you mention visiting these theaters in the late 40s and 50s. I am trying to verify that the former “Strand” was owned by the same entity which owned the Strand in Pawtucket and Stadium in Woonsocket. Any ideas? When I worked as a “candy girl” at the Pawtucket Strand in 1948-49, I believe I earned 35-cents per hour, and the ushers earned 40 cents. The doorman and head usher earned the grand and glorious sum of 45 cents/hour!! The boss was a Mr. Lancaster, who had previously managed the theater in Newport. I’m thinking it MUST have been the Strand, but my previous statement about the (Pawtucket) Strand not showing Paramount flicks is in error. “My bad,” to use the current vernacular! ML
Hi Roland! You are absolutely correct about the Bank pre-dating the Strand. I guess it was just wishful thinking, but it does look like an overhanging marquee or something, right where the Strand once stood. It has occurred to me that these theaters didn’t really last a very long time (except in the case of the Leroy, which was held onto long after its heyday and unfortunately became a haven for the pigeons). I believe the Strand was razed for a parking lot around 1958.
Roland: These are wonderful — i’ve looked at all the photos and wonder what the “Benedict House” was? A hotel maybe? As to the Slater Trust Building at the corner of East and Main, it takes me a minute to become oriented, mostly due to my world-famous poor sense of direction. As I look at the “southerly view,” am I correct in seeing the old ticket booth of the Strand just a bit further down on the same side of the street? Wouldn’t this view of the bank be on East Avenue? Also, Gerald’s photo of the Globe at the corner of Roosevelt and Main would be on the same side of the street as Main Street as the Music Hall, but it would be more than two buildings up. Hadn’t we established that the Music Hall building was the very same that later housed the Peerless Company? One would have to walk up Main Street (west?), cross High Street, and the Music Hall would be several buildings beyond that. I distinctly remember the name “Music Hall” etched into the stone on the front of the Peerless, right up until the time I moved from Pawtucket. And I believe you or Gerald posted an old photo where the “old” Peerless Co. occupied the first floor and the Music Hall was upstairs. Obviously, i need to inspect these photos again!
It is a delight indeed to find people who have the same love of Pawtucket as I did (and do, even though it’s no longer the PawtucketI knew). ML
What a wonderful photo, Gerald (I left comments at that site). I had a bit of trouble orienting myself into the photo, but now I see that it looks up Main Street, toward the old Music Hall Theater!! The Strand would be just around the corner on East Avenue, behind that spired bank on the left. Thanks again!! ML