Imperial Theater

61 Broad Street,
Pawtucket, RI 02860

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Announcements of what’s playing at Pawtucket and Central Falls movie theatres in November, 1921:
LISTINGS IN PROVIDENCE NEWS

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm

New organ installed in Imperial Theatre in 1921. REPORTED HERE

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 15, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Item in Boxoffice magazine, January 12, 1935:
“The Imperial at Pawtucket is reopening. It was last operated by Dave Perkins, now in the Publix publicity department.”

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 11, 2008 at 5:46 pm

In 1930 the Imperial Theater had 1,004 seats.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 17, 2007 at 10:55 am

On January December 31, 1918 a fire broke out at 11:30 PM in the furnace room after the theatre had closed. It caused considerable damage so that the theatre would not re-open for several days, according to a January 1st article in the Providence Journal.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 2, 2005 at 6:11 am

Roland, you mention the Globe a few times. I posted it on Cinema Treasures along with a photo I found. It’s here.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 28, 2005 at 3:28 am

Thanks. The Providence Opera House is listed, and Low’s Opera House is listed under the name Victory.

Roland L.
Roland L. on June 28, 2005 at 3:03 am

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.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 28, 2005 at 12:25 am

Re: Music Hall in Providence. Yes, I would like info. I know it burned down in 1905 and never showed movies, except as a novelty. For example, The Great Train Robbery was shown there.

Roland L.
Roland L. on June 27, 2005 at 6:17 pm

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.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 27, 2005 at 10:21 am

Sounds good. I found city directory references (i.e. 1914) to a Globe Theatre at 175 Main Street. Any info on that?

Roland L.
Roland L. on June 27, 2005 at 10:02 am

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 A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 27, 2005 at 9:29 am

Roland, why don’t you put it up? I’ll add what little I know in the form of comments. I definitely know that movies were shown there, since I found a list of coming films in February of 1935.

Roland L.
Roland L. on June 27, 2005 at 8:40 am

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.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 26, 2005 at 2:32 pm

Good for you. There was a Music Hall on Westminster Street in Providence too, destroyed by a fire in 1905, as was Infantry Hall in 1942. That link is a direct link to what it takes several clicks to get on the PPL site. But it is what I was referring to. Great pics there. The Albee ones are fabulous.

Roland L.
Roland L. on June 26, 2005 at 2:13 pm

Gerald, here is a top level URL for quickpix.net It gives easy access to several different city library collections.

http://www.quickpix.com/library.html

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.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 26, 2005 at 1:43 pm

Yes, I saw that Pastime photo on the Images of R.I. section of the Providence Public Library’s electronic resources. Check it out at www.provlib.org . The picture of the Crown I got from the Images of America book on Pawtucket, so I presume that the theatre was in Pawtucket on North Main. North Main, I understand, is now called Roosevelt.

Roland L.
Roland L. on June 26, 2005 at 12:06 pm

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.

View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 26, 2005 at 11:34 am

The Scenic had the same address (156 Main) as the Loew’s Capitol/Center/State. I wonder if it had been demolished or simply renamed. I will use this information and post the theatres that are not listed. Have you ever found any information on the Crown?

Roland L.
Roland L. on June 26, 2005 at 10:45 am

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.

View link

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

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 26, 2005 at 8:44 am

Thanks very much, Roland. Although I do believe I saw movie listings for it from the year 1935 when the Providence Journal had a Sunday listing for all the week’s upcoming movies in area theatres, not just Providence. The place could have had multiple uses over the decades. I will re-check tomorrow. It’s certainly good to know exactly where it was…even if I haven’t found a numerical address yet. By the way, I just discovered yesterday that Charlie Chaplin performed in Providence in person before he became famous through films, at the first Empire. Click and read my entry.

Roland L.
Roland L. on June 26, 2005 at 7:39 am

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.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 26, 2005 at 5:35 am

This theatre still existed in February, 1935, according to a Providence newspaper listing of films playing.

I also found a 1935 listing for a “Music Hall” in Pawtucket. Any idea of what or where this was? Other names?

Roland L.
Roland L. on June 22, 2005 at 8:28 pm

I meant American Mutoscope, not American Mutant.

Roland L.
Roland L. on June 22, 2005 at 11:45 am

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.