Warwick Cinema

780 Post Road,
Warwick, RI 02886

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Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 14, 2017 at 10:56 am

Warwick Cinema years: 1964-1983. Razed 1995. The Sound of Music ran here for 86 weeks, 1965-1966 in 70mm.

Coate
Coate on March 24, 2015 at 10:40 am

It was 50 years ago today that “The Sound of Music” premiered at the Warwick Cinema. With a reserved-seat run of 86 weeks, it’s almost certainly the long-run record holder for this venue. (Anyone know of something that ran longer?)

Also, on a related note, I would like to mention my new 50th anniversary retrospective for “The Sound of Music” can be read here. It includes a film historian Q&A and a list of the film’s roadshow engagements. I hope fans of the movie and/or theater buffs enjoy the article.

marcberm
marcberm on August 24, 2013 at 11:35 am

From what I can remember, the Warwick Cinema closed sometime between 1984 and 1989. It was most definitely closed and boarded up in 1990. Sometime in the early 90’s, my boy scout troop held a car wash at the McDonald’s in the plaza. A few of us wandered off to explore the building via the decomposing rear exit from the theater. The place, though ransacked, looked as though it had been closed for the night. Cups, popcorn buckets, straws and other trash littered the place. There were still items strewn around from the smashed glass candy case, and the sample popcorn buckets with prices on them were still lined up along the back of the counter. I took the large bucket with it’s little red plastic price numbers glued on, a few blank employee name tags, and a strip of connected tickets to a 1980’s showing of “Luther” (the 1973 version). We weren’t brave enough to venture upstairs to the storage, office or projection space. At one point the building was mostly gutted and a locked entry door installed through the boards over the front entrance. I can remember finding strips of degraded film on the ground outside in the years after it was gutted. I even remember watching as the building was being torn down. As the front of the building was peeled away, marquee letters organized in a rack on the upper level spilled out into the rubble. I saved a couple of random letters, though I never did anything with them. I’m pretty sure I lost all the taken objects when I moved out of my parent’s place. It’s amazing that the building existed until just under 20 years ago, and yet as vividly as I remember it, there are no pictures of the building to be found anywhere.

ejones880
ejones880 on July 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm

What year did this close? I know it was open until the late 80s. I remember going to many rare movies like midnight shows of the Three Stooges

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 20, 2010 at 5:09 am

Article in Boxoffice magazine, April 20, 1964, reporting on the opening of the Warwick Cinema of Post Road on March 19, 1964:
View link

nritota
nritota on December 19, 2008 at 6:56 pm

I remember Bill Quarters when I was managing theatres in RI. That name was a blast from the past. Most all the theatre people knew each other because we shared union projectionists from the same local.

Too many names to remember from both the management and union side of this business!

ngtowl
ngtowl on January 24, 2007 at 8:20 pm

It is nice to see people who grew up in my neck of the woods..just a great part of R.I.
owl

thepassenger
thepassenger on January 22, 2007 at 8:20 am

I too grew up in Warwick, about a mile south of this theater. I went to Aldrich Junior High across the street and went to many movies here. In particular I remember the summer of ‘77 because it was between jr. high and high school for me, and also because Star Wars played at the Warwick Cinema. I was too young to have a job, but I had a paper route and an allowance, so a friend and I went to see it five or six times over the course of the summer months.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 19, 2006 at 11:16 pm

ngtowl, The Meadowbrook is listed HERE on Cinema Treasures.

ngtowl
ngtowl on September 19, 2006 at 5:52 pm

By the way if the webmaster or anyone else is interested there was another independent theater in warwick. The meadowbrook cinema on warwick avenue in the southern end of warwick , it was best known for midnight rocky horror show showings!I was not really into that but it was there for maybe as many years as the warwick cinema.

ngtowl
ngtowl on September 19, 2006 at 5:43 pm

To Gabby , yes exactly but nothing to bad most of us were on a first name basis with Bill and were good customers (when we weren’t sneaking in lol)he knew and it was a wink and a nod anyway because most of the time it would be nights with concert films or movies that attracted a younger crowd.

To Party monster , I don’t remeber mel arts was that when the slot car track was next door? Anyway that was a weird story! The VanGogh’s sounds familiar though?

ngtowl
ngtowl on September 19, 2006 at 5:43 pm

To Gabby , yes exactly but nothing to bad most of us were on a first name basis with Bill and were good customers (when we weren’t sneaking in lol)he knew and it was a wink and a nod anyway because most of the time it would be nights with concert films or movies that attracted a younger crowd.

To Party monster , I don’t remeber mel arts was that when the slot car track was next door? Anyway that was a weird story! The VanGogh’s sounds familiar though?

Partymonster
Partymonster on September 19, 2006 at 10:48 am

The restaurant was for a time (circa ‘67) called Mel-Arts. I think the owner was Greek. My band, The Van Goghs did a scene for a never completed movie here. We ordered something from the menu, and he brought us the head of a gorilla on a platter. We became offended, and so we proceeded to have a fight with strawberry shortcake. Big mistake, real cream. Took days to get the smell out of my hair. I have a bit more info above re: my Warwick Cinema experiences.

ggates
ggates on September 19, 2006 at 6:42 am

Glad you mentioned Bill Quarters as the Manager. I great guy who deserves his name to be remembered in association with running the theatre. What sort of things did the kids do to run him through the wringer? (probably sneaking in through an exit door, or horsing around in the lobby near the video games.)

ngtowl
ngtowl on September 19, 2006 at 5:13 am

Tom, I sure do remember that store a lot of girls we knew worked there,also a lot of my friends worked in the resturant it was called Freddie’s resturant!It eventually becaume about a half dozen different nightclubs none lasting very long , we used to laugh about how long a new one would last.I agree about the cookie cutter cities I don’t live in warwick anymore but sometimes I will drive by there see the wallmart and think about how sad it is that kids today did not have a place like warwick cinema and some of the other small stores there with friendly people that owned them. nowadays if a place see’s more than 3 kids in a group they call the police!!

tlccar1
tlccar1 on September 19, 2006 at 4:27 am

Hey ngtowl, my sister used to drag me to the stupid Hit or Miss clothing store on the very end – remember that? LOL At the time I hated going to that store but today I wish it was still there! There was a BIG G supermarket next door and a fabric store that my mom made special trips to. I can’t remember the restaurant in there – we used to go there a lot too – it became a nightclub before they closed the plaza for good. As far as the cinema goes, the Warwick Cinema was not affiliated with the Warwick Mall at all. I saw Star Wars there, Rainbow Connection (starring Kermit the frog) and Sound of Music a zillion times! I remember a reddish curtain covering the screen and lights on the sides with curtains going down the rows next to you. How sad to lose all of these great places to put in freakin WalMarts! I think the movies of years ago that depicted the future to have cookie cutter cities and towns are so true! Every town now has its own WalMart, Applebees, Walgreens, CVS, etc….how boring!!! Gimme the old times anyday!!

ngtowl
ngtowl on September 19, 2006 at 2:28 am

wow does this bring back memories! warwick cinema was at 780 post road in warwick RI in the warwick plaza not the warwick mall.This little shopping center was our second home in the late sixties through the mid seventies when I was a teenager we would hang out there from jr high which was aldrich across the street through high school ,we would park our cars near the entrance under the big oak tree (anyone remember seeing us?)The cinema was run by a gentleman named bill quarters and we would put him through the wringer sometimes but he was a nice guy he passed away whithin the last ten years , earlier in this thread someone mentioned the back door where they sold italian ices that was also the door we would sneak in when we were broke! I had my first movie date with my first girlfriend there we saw “see no evil” starring mia farrow.What made me find this site was seeing the concert for bangaledesh with george harrison on pbs recently and I remembered seeing it at warwick cinema it brought back all kinds of great memories.Not only was it a great movie theatre that whole little shopping center was great very teen friendly since it was close to 3 schools , aldrich across the street being one.all the stores except for the bank wt grant and big g market were mom and pop privately owned.there was a slot car track a fish store bobs aquarium bob barbosa was a great guy wonder if he is still around? There was also a head shop(this was early 70’s!)owned by 2 young enterpenuers, anyway now this site is a wallmart some things change but not always for the better! I cant even remember all the movies I saw at warwick cinema over the years but they were good years that I will never forget.

Partymonster
Partymonster on June 3, 2006 at 7:21 am

I saw Hard Days Night at Warwick Cinema, first run!
Saw many shows at Warwick Musical Theater. As a young boy I saw West Side Story with Anna Maria Alberghetti. Many rock shows; Roy Orbison, (also saw Roy at Chatteau De Ville which has also appeared in this thread.) Sat so close I could have shined his shoees. Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Rick Nelson, Chuck Berry, The Association. Saw the last concert they ever put on at Warwick Musical with Sherrie Austin & Vince Gill. Vince brought the Bonoff family on stage for a slow sad song that he dedicated to Buster who was dying. It was truly a “moment”. It’s said that the theater culdn’t compete with the shows at Foxwoods (many of them free), about an hour away.

tlccar1
tlccar1 on April 27, 2006 at 7:40 am

The Chateau de Ville is the dinner theatre/restaurant that you are thinking of. It had a striking, huge chandelier and a round, almost wraparound staircase all enclosed in glass. Many proms were held there, and often they took pictures right on that staircase. Today, the building holds medical offices and such, and if you look to the right side of the building, there is the rounded part that sticks out which used to hold the chandelier and staircase! This was across the parking lot from the Warwick Mall Cinema, where there is now a Longhorn Restaurant!

hardbop
hardbop on April 27, 2006 at 5:43 am

I don’t want to stray from the topic of this thread too much, but I wonder why the Warwick Musical Theatre went out of business. I thought it had done well.

People might not remember this, but across the parking lot from the old Warwick Mall Cinema was a dinner theatre that went out of business in the 70s. The building is still there as far as I know, but now it is offices for a health insurance company.

ggates
ggates on April 26, 2006 at 10:35 am

The Warwick Music Theatre was just like the Carousel in Framingham, the South Shore Music Theatre in Cohasset Mass, and the Northshore Music Theatre in Peabody. I think there was one in Hyannis also. Every summer there were touring musicals and groups that went from one place to the other. In the sixties, I remember many visits to the Carousel in Framingham (our projectionist was also their lighting tech and snuck in the ushers and candy girls for free shows) We saw groups like the Supremes, Temptations, Four Seasons, Lovin Spoonful, Jimi Hendrix, Brooklyn Bridge, and others there.

William
William on April 26, 2006 at 10:23 am

hardbop posted I believe a “Dirty Harry” movie there.
Warner Bros. released “The Enforcer” on Dec. 22, 1976.

hardbop
hardbop on April 26, 2006 at 9:48 am

Damn. Do these threads bring back memories as I grew up in Warwick and moved in 1980. The last time I went to the Warwick Cinema must have been my freshman year in college (1976), Christmas break, because I remember bringing a date to see I believe a “Dirty Harry” movie there.

I remember that plaza where the Warwick Cinema was located well. There was a W.T. Grant’s in the same shopping plaza as the cinema and that is a long defunct chain. Aldrich Jr. High, if memory serves me correctly, is across the street.

And I remember the Warwick Musical Theatre well. I think the guy who ran it had the mellifluous name of Buster Bonoff. And he might have been bald like Yul Brynner, but I may be imagining that. I never went to a show at the WMT, but did go to a friend’s high school graduation held there in 1977. That was the only time I was in the building.

I remember right next to the theatre was a restaurant on the corner of Bald Hill Road and Route 2 (which I believe is the road the WMT was on) that they moved; they moved the whole building. And WMT is/was right around the corner from “The Station” that nightclub that burned and so many lives were lost.

tlccar1
tlccar1 on April 21, 2006 at 7:05 am

I was a lucky child growing up. My parents had season tickets to the Warwick Musical Theater, and I was taken to many shows there over the years. It was a unique, intimate theater-in-the-round – the stage was actually round and it rotated! You sat in director’s chairs – they were red, yellow or green! We had front row seats behind the orchestra. I saw many great performances there like Liberace, Tom Jones, Air Supply, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld, Kenny G, Anne Murray, Johnny Mathis, Sonny & Cher, Englebert Humperdink, Neil Sedaka and many more – great memories I will always cherish! They would hand you a freshly printed program for that night’s show when you enetered your row – we have hundreds saved and some autographed! I can still smell that ink smell on those programs! It was a unique place, in that some people WOULD dress up to go there, but as time went on it became more and more casual. There was no air conditioning, so the performances were always HOT! I can remember some of the stars sweating so badly that they had to change every 15 minutes or so! It was a great place, and it is truly missed by many!

tlccar1
tlccar1 on April 21, 2006 at 7:05 am

I was a lucky child growing up. My parents had season tickets to the Warwick Musical Theater, and I was taken to many shows there over the years. It was a unique, intimate theater-in-the-round – the stage was actually round and it rotated! You sat in director’s chairs – they were red, yellow or green! We had front row seats behind the orchestra. I saw many great performances there like Liberace, Tom Jones, Air Supply, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld, Kenny G, Anne Murray, Johnny Mathis, Sonny & Cher, Englebert Humperdink, Neil Sedaka and many more – great memories I will always cherish! They would hand you a freshly printed program for that night’s show when you enetered your row – we have hundreds saved and some autographed! I can still smell that ink smell on those programs! It was a unique place, in that some people WOULD dress up to go there, but as time went on it became more and more casual. There was no air conditioning, so the performances were always HOT! I can remember some of the stars sweating so badly that they had to change every 15 minutes or so! It was a great place, and it is truly missed by many!