Ponta Drive-In

70 Shove Street,
Tiverton, RI 02878

750 cars

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Opened in 1950 with a capacity of 750 cars, the drive-in showed films until 1970 when it was shut down until 1979. It closed for good in 1982. The original marquee is used as a club sign while the projection/concession area became a boys' club.

Although generally called the Ponta Drive-In, its full name was “Ponta del Gada” after the capital of the Azores. There are many Portuguese and Azoreans in this area, especially in nearby Fall River, Massachusetts, which borders on North Tiverton. The Ponta may have been the only movie theatre ever in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 9, 2005 at 6:14 pm

I visited the drive-in and took these four photos. The address of the Ponta del Gada is 70 Shove Street, which is at the corner of Walnut Street. It is a block away from the center of North Tiverton, a neighborhood in the town of Tiverton. North Tiverton’s main street is Main Street, which is also Route 138. The drive-in, in its heyday, must have attracted lots of filmgoers from the Tiverton/Fall River area. The screen is no longer there, only the projection/concession building and the entry sign and marquee.
Photo of entrance marquee
Marquee and concession and projection booth
Projection booth exterior
Projection booth interior

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 24, 2005 at 3:55 pm

Article in The Providence Journal, February 9, 1971:

Tiverton Bars X-Rated Films

The Tiverton Town Council, acting on complaints that X-rated films at a local drive-in theater can be seen from the street by Children, last night passed an ordinance to ban such films in the town.

Councilmen also received petitions signed by 961 residents against the showing of X-rated films. The theatre is the Ponta Del Gada Drive-In on Shove Street, the town’s only movie theater.

After being advised that the ordinance probably would not survive a court test, the council unanimously directed town solicitor William B. Sullivan to draft another ordinance that would require the licensing of films shown in the town.

A mother who attended the meeting, Mrs. David Silvia of 8 Clement Street, said her children could see the films at the drive-in from the kitchen window of the home. “It’s a disgrace,” she said.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 10, 2010 at 3:03 am

Boxoffice of July 27, 1957, said that the Ponta Delgada Drive-In had opened at North Tiverton on July 9. The 900-car situation was owned by Hyman E. Lepes and Norman Zalkin. The first movie shown was “Amazon Ship.”

Ponta Delgada is apparently the proper form for this Portuguese name, by the way, regardless of how The Providence Journal presents it. Delgada is all one word on the marquee, as well.

slopes0213
slopes0213 on February 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I grew up directly across the street (71 Shove) from 1973 until long after the screen went dark in 1982. I used to watch movies from my window, or from out in my yard until they planted trees and put up higher fences. Us kids always found a way to enjoy the movies though! It was a predominantly Portuguese neighborhood, close knit. The old Ponta club was across the street where feasts were held every summer. The weekend traffic to the theater back in its heyday would fill Shove St. some evenings.. Great memories…

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