Castle Cinema

1039 Chalkstone Avenue,
Providence, RI 02908

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The Castle Theatre was a neighborhood vaudeville playhouse, which was built in the mid-1920’s that switched to movies only by 1930.

Over the years, it was converted into a triplex, and most recently, converted into a cinema pub and cafe.

The Castle Cinema was closed in 2004.

Contributed by Richard W. Einig

Recent comments (view all 38 comments)

mp775 on September 25, 2008 at 10:56 am

The Castle is featured in the Providence Preservation Society’s Most Engangered Properties photo exhibit at Butterfield, 232 Westminster Street. According to the exhibit, the building was purchased by the RISPCA, who in turn plans on leasing it to Rhode Island College to use for drug treatment programs. The marquee was removed per orders of the buildings department. There was talk of donating the building to AS220 about nine months ago, which apparently fell through.

nritota on December 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm

I worked here in the 60’s and 70’s when it was an SBC single screen. It was nothing special, and parking was definately an issue. They used to lease an empty lot diagonal to the theatre and towards the city. I drove by on Thanksgiving when I was back in town and couldn’t spot that lot.

I can’t imagine this ever getting off the ground again.

rkq on July 31, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I had the pleasure of owning and operating this theater. We bought it in 1983 from the SBC corp. for $150000(wow) which also ran the Cinerama Theater now a CVS. We owned it from 1983 until 2000. It was a single screen until SBC twined it in the early 70s. In 1989 we made use of the balcony as a third screen. The building opened Thanksgiving weekend 1926. I actually have a flier from that date, a customer gave to me. Unfortunately due to a decline in the neighborhood, the time we had to wait to get product and the mall with its new 16 screens……it was time to sell. Sad to see the marquee was removed, but the two terracotta lion heads are still guarding the building……….

nritota on August 13, 2009 at 7:22 pm

17 years is a good and respectable run Ralph.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 21, 2010 at 4:39 am

From Boxoffice magazine, February 4, 1956:

“In the most extensive cooperation promotion ever seen in this area, 14 Providence and nearby houses used record-breaking newspaper advertising space in heralding the joint premiere of "The Day the World Ended” and “Phantom from 10,000 Leagues.” Virtually taking over the amusement pages of the local press for several days, the following houses united in the ad: Elmwood, Hope, Uptown, Liberty, Castle, all in this city; Community, Centredale; Strand, Pawtucket; Union, Attleboro; Hollywood, East Providence; Palace, Cranston; Community, Wakefield; Park, Auburn; Palace, Arctic and Stadium, Woonsocket. A brief checkup of local houses indicated that opening days were solid."

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 15, 2011 at 4:36 am

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

Bawidget on June 26, 2012 at 7:04 am

RKQ I really hope you’re still active on this site. I’m a graduate of entrepreneurship and intend to go to grad school for Historic Preservation. My focus has always been on historic theaters. I would love to speak to you about your time owning and operating Castle Cinema. Does anyone know what happened to the original Marquee.

rkq on December 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm

From time to time I check in to see new comments. The Castle is still standing,although in ruff shape. Seeing the marquee gone is sad.I assume it was removed for safety reasons.I remember the summer I spent up on a ladder, gently removing the neon letters, scraping off the chipped paint and gently replacing each letter. It was important or me to have the “Castle” letters light the night. When we sold the theater in 2000, the marquee was in decent shape. Over the years the front had been hit by city snow plows,but it was always repaired.

Tony Z
Tony Z on February 13, 2014 at 9:15 am

I recently purchased the Castle Cinema at 1039 Chalkstone Avenue, Providence and would welcome the opportunity to speak with anyone who owned or worked for the Castle Cinema when it was in operation. I can be reached at 401-413-7489.

SwinburneStreet on June 30, 2014 at 6:21 am

I am owner of Cabaret, SpeakEasy, Big Band, Vaudville and Circus types entertainment love to see The Castle alive with entertainment of this type. If interested love to discuss joint ventures you may contact me 401 641 2234. Thank you for your attention to this matter

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