Gem Theatre

1231 Main Street,
West Warwick, RI 02893

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This theatre was located in the Arctic section of West Warwick and served the local residents faithfully. It was in existence after the nearby Majestic Theatre had closed, but it closed long before the Palace Theatre, on the other side of the center, did. Full information about its years of operation and other pertinent facts would be welcome.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 11, 2005 at 12:33 pm

The Gem is said to have been in the St. Onge Block on Main Street.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 11, 2005 at 12:48 pm

I have found newspaper ads for all these theatres. The Gem and the Majestic shared ads in the WWI era, two columns, one for each theatre. The ads I found for the Gem went from 1915 to 1948. I found no ads for 1950 or later. That gives a rough idea of when the theatre operated. Here are local newspaper ads for the Gem, Majestic, and Thornton’s on March 14, 1918.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 22, 2005 at 11:31 am

The Gem Theatre was opened by the brothers Coit and Drew Carson, who had run the nearby Majestic Theatre on lease from that theatre’s owner Joseph Archambault.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 22, 2005 at 11:41 am

In the Film Daily Yearbook’s 1940 and 1943 the Gem Theatre is listed as ‘Closed’ with a seating capacity of 850.

In the 1950 edition of F.D.Y. it is listed with 650 seats.

Roland L.
Roland L. on July 23, 2005 at 3:13 am

I just love reading about the turn of the century theaters and their transformation to movie houses.

What I found particularly interesting was the newspaper ad for the Thornton Theater. The ad states the fee of .10c and .01c for War Tax. WWI, that is as Stolen Hours came out in 1918!!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 25, 2010 at 3:18 am

Item in Boxoffice magazine, September 18, 1937:

“The Gem, Arctic, reopened September 5
under management of the West Warwick Theatre Co. Frank O'Neil of Riverpoint is house manager and duals will be the policy.”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 15, 2011 at 4:50 am

In September 1926, this theatre was part of the eleven-theatre Celebrate Paramount Week.
Newspaper ad.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 21, 2011 at 6:55 am

A NEWSPAPER AD for Arctic area theatres from September 6, 1925.

bgcivilwar on January 1, 2015 at 7:56 am

Hello everyone! I live in West Warwick. I am a historian. I am gathering information on all the old West Warwick theatres. Any questions, please e-mail me at . I am compiling a book that can help starting now! It will not be published due to it costs a lot of money to do, but I can scan you the information that I have on those theaters! I have many interesting photographs! Have a wonderful day! Brian

bgcivilwar on May 27, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Mr. DeLuca

Please give me your e-mail. I have some super photograohs of the Gem Theatre. The Gem was on the send floor of the St. Onge men’s clothing store. I am a local historian. I hope that someone can contact me. I don’t know how to place photographs on this site. I can E-mail you them and you can place them on this site. Thank you. I am a local historian.

Brian Edmund Guiot

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