E.M. Loew's Providence Drive-In

North Main Street,
Providence, RI 02904

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E.M. Loew's Providence Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in July 1937, this drive-in theatre was located off North Main Street on the Providence/Pawtucket city line, with an entrance near the former Sears Roebuck store. It still existed in the 1960’s but I don’t think it survived into the 1970’s. Interstate 95 was built close to it and may have even overtaken some of that property. One 1951-52 directory lists its capacity as 500 cars.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 27, 2005 at 8:17 pm

Appropriately enough, the E. M. Loew’s was showing the film Drive-In at the beginning of July, 1976. The second feature was The Lords of Flatbush.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 30, 2006 at 9:32 am

The 1949 Film Daily Yearbook gave the capacity as 550 cars.

mp775
mp775 on April 8, 2008 at 7:00 pm

The Drive-In opened at 8 p.m. on July 21, 1937. Interestingly, the admission charge was per person, not per carload.

Providence Journal ad, 7/21/37 from Art in Ruins

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 11, 2010 at 1:49 pm

From Boxoffice Magazine, December 2, 1950:
“Whoever directs the policy for E.M. Loew’s open airers must be something of a weather prophet. Amost simultaneously with the closing of E.M. Loew’s Drive-In at the Providence-Pawtucket City line, winter weather hit this vicinity with the thermometer dropping to the middle twenties. All other nearby ozoners were still operating, despite the frigid weather, when Thanksgiving had come and gone.”

[Note: an “ozoner” is trade talk for any drive-in theatre.]

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, August 21, 1954:
“E.M. Loew’s Drive-In was the site of the New England premiere of "Three Forbidden Stories."
[This Italian film was being marketed for its frank depiction of sexual woes. It also played serious art houses in New York and elsewhere.]

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on June 27, 2010 at 9:11 pm

E.M. LOEWS and LOEWS THEATRES were not the same company.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on July 15, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Elias M. Loew 1898-1984 from Austria once owned 70 theatres and 17 drive-ins.He also owned the Bay State Raceway and a chain of hotels and motels, One being the Gulfstream Drive-in,which had a motel built on both sides of the screen of the drive,it has its own page on C.T.

hardbop
hardbop on October 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm

This drive-in was open well into the 1970s, if it is the same one I am thinking of. It was on the Providence-Pawtucket line and alongside Route 95. My father used to take a carload of us to the drive-in between July 1973 through 1973 and I remember going here many times during that era. It must have closed in the 1970s, sometime after 1972.

I was in R.I. last weekend and was researching some of the films that I caught at the drive-in back then and going through Projo I saw ads for this drive-in in 1971.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

An article on the history of the location appears in The Providence Journal, August 12, 2012. It includes images of the Cycledrome that had been located there as well as a 1940 image of the drive-in’s entrance. Article with images.

jwmovies
jwmovies on September 28, 2012 at 7:32 am

Above is now incorrect. Approx. address for this drive-in was at what is now 611 Pawtucket Avenue in Pawtucket, RI 02860. The entrance is Ann Mary St. You can tell from the photo there’s a hill at the entrance. Powell St. runs through where the theatre stood. The screen was behind where Chili’s sits now.

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