Cable Car Cinema & Cafe

204 South Main Street,
Providence, RI 02903

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Cable Car Cinema

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Operating since 1976, known as a very comfortable place to see arthouse fare, the Cable Car Cinema has couches and other comfy chairs to sit in. Before shows begin, the theater usually has performers (such as singers) on stage to entertain the audience.

Contributed by Cathy Novick

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

50sadchairs
50sadchairs on June 14, 2010 at 8:36 pm

The previous reference to The Revival House is relevant as the owner/operators of this closed theater are now the new owner/operators of the Cable Car. It is currently undergoing major renovations during the summer of 2010 and it is rumored they might be adding a second film projector to show the old films again. (The film distributors no longer want film houses to splice the films and thus one projector is a major handicap to show old films.) It is slated to reopen August 16th or 17th.

50sadchairs
50sadchairs on June 14, 2010 at 8:39 pm

The previous reference to The Revival House is relevant as the owner/operators of this closed theater are now the new owner/operators of the Cable Car. It is currently undergoing major renovations during the summer of 2010 and it is rumored they might be adding a second film projector to show the old films again. (The film distributors no longer want film houses to splice the films and thus one projector is a major handicap to show old films.) It is slated to reopen August 16th or 17th.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 25, 2010 at 8:36 am

That no-splice caveat is for archival film prints and certain distributors, such as Rialto. This is a good move.
Let’s hope they get correct screen masking, aperture plates, lenses to show 35mmm films in the various aspect ratios correctly and un-cropped CinemamScope.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 25, 2010 at 8:37 am

Plans for the creation of this cinema in 1976, as reported in Boxoffice magazine, March 8, 1976:
View link

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on June 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Gerald, I have spent the better part of the day perusing the fascinating comments that you have submitted regarding the past and current movie houses of (mostly) Rhode Island. While I will probably never visit most of these places – though I did spend a weekend in Woonsocket many years ago and have visited Newport on several occasions – your vivid descriptions – and vintage pictures – of the old movie palaces and the communities they served was most enjoyable. It also revived memories of my own early cinematic experiences when growing up in Greenpoint Brooklyn.

This is one of the reasons why this is such a wonderful site.

Keep up the good work!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 26, 2010 at 2:48 am

John,
Thank you. I have been trying for several years to post here everything of relevance I can find about RI area theatres…though I ad a bit about theatres elsewhere.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on June 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Sounds like my kind of place maybe not a “MOVIE PALACE” but cool in another way.Also it has a great name and location.

stranddan
stranddan on October 8, 2013 at 8:25 am

Moved from RI to CT ten years ago, so have not seen the Cable Car since then. I did patronize it often through the years, even though I believed those couches just might be unsanitary! Almost invariably, the film was interrupted by some sort of projection difficulty. But it was a fun place, even lunching outside.

kzirkel
kzirkel on April 23, 2014 at 7:45 am

Here’s a nice history of the Cable Car Cinema. Originally the building was a truck garage of a moving company. The name comes from “a classic cable car that was left behind”. The cafe was added around 1989.

Chris1982
Chris1982 on November 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Opened on October 30, 1976.

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