Odeon Theatre

Roberts Street,
West Warwick, RI

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At one time Saint John’s Church, almost next to the Majestic Building in Arctic, used to run the Odeon Theatre, a kind of French-American dramatic society hall, created in 1909 by one Father Bourgeois of the parish. It had been the old Cadets' Hall.

It was located about a block away from the church, on Legion Way. It was to be a showcase of French culture, a small performing arts center as well as a concert and lecture hall. It was modeled after the famous Odeon Theatre and opera house of Paris.

It was also used to show movies and there are sporadic ads for films in the local newspaper. The former theatre ultimately became a furniture store and showroom and later was completely destroyed by a fire.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 25, 2005 at 8:46 am

From an article in The Providence Journal on December 18, 2003:

“In May 1999, authorities announced with great fanfare that they had cracked one of the biggest of the unsolved cases, the 1996 Christmas Day fire that destroyed the Odeon Theater. They charged a local man with first-degree arson; the charge was eventually dropped for lack of evidence.”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 26, 2005 at 9:08 am

Sarah Bernhardt once performed here!

Yes, Sarah Bernhardt. The year is unclear, but it is mentioned in the book by Mathias P. Harpin, Trumpets of Jericho, about this Pawtuxet Valley town:

“Father Bourgeois brought Bernhardt to Jericho. Her agent came first to see if the theater was worthy of the great star’s talents. Father Bourgeois escorted her through the theater.

‘Marvelous Marvelous! Simply marvelous!’ exclaimed the woman who had the world at her feet in the roles of Camille, La Tosca, Cléopâtre and l'Aiglon."

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 20, 2011 at 9:03 am

October 16, 1921 at the Odeon….a show called “Melodyland."
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