Art Cinema

1017 Broad Street,
Providence, RI 02907

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rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 2, 2015 at 11:18 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Report for this theater when it was the Liberty. It’s Card # 546. There is an exterior photo taken May 1941. The address is 1017 Broad. Condition is Good. It was showing MGM films, and had 800 seats.

nritota on November 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm


I sent you a separate email on this.


Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 26, 2011 at 11:09 am

As stated in a previous entry, the Liberty Theatre opened on March 7, 1921. This newspaper ad appeared the previous day:

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 20, 2011 at 10:59 am

In September 1922 this theatre was part of Rhode Island’s Paramount Week. Click to see the ad in Providence News, September 1, 1922, which contains a list of all participating theatres as well as the films shown that week. At that time this theatre was called the Liberty.


Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

Studios sue Milton and Edward Bomes for false reporting of boxoffice receipts at their Liberty Theatre in Providence and Hollywood Theatre in East Providence.
Item in Boxoffice magazine, October 25, 1952:
View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 24, 2010 at 9:41 am

Item in Boxoffice magazine, February 17, 1958, relating to the upcoming run of The Miracle of Marcelino at this theatre:

Anticipating the forthcoming screening of “The Miracle of Marcelino,” Mrs. Ann Cohen, publicity director of the Art Cinema, has invited all of the Religious throughout the Providence diocese, pastors, priests, nuns, and sisters, to a special private screening. Those required to remain on duty while others attend have been invited to see the picture free during the run. Furthermore, it is the policy of Rhode Island’s newest art house to pass in members of the clergy of all denominations at all times. To tie in with the presentation of “The Miracle of Marcelino,” Mrs. Cohen is arranging for a special display of art in the lobby, though the courtesy of Salve Regina College, Newport. A special party for children from Catholic institutions is also being arranged. The youngsters will have the theatre to themselves and candy, ice cream and cakes will be served. Other facets of Mrs. Cohen’s extensive publicity campaign include special advertising in the Visitor, weekly diocesan newspaper, news breaks and printed invitations to church and state dignitaries.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 22, 2010 at 8:24 am

Projected opening of Art Cinema in 1958 announced in article in Boxoffice magazine, January 13, 1958:
View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 21, 2010 at 4:38 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."

abrunner24 on June 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

The Bomes name lives on. In fron of the old Jamestown (R.I)theatre embedded in the brick above the entrance is the sign “Bomes Theatre”.
The cinema is long gone but the building houses a number of bussiness'namely a Chinese restaurant, a real estate office and a couple of other small shops. The manager of the theatre at one time was the late Joe Jarvis. I had known him for years and he left is mark owning the Jane Pickens Theatre which to this day still operates as an art house. When in Newport, I would visit hime and we would talk about the “old days”. A wonderful guy and I miss him very much.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 16, 2010 at 5:59 am

Item in Boxoffice Magazine, March 17, 1956:

“The Hollywood, East Providence, and Liberty, Elmwood neighborhood house, both Bomes' operations, by running the same attractions at both houses, have "upped” their newspaper advertising to such a degree that it compares favorably on many occasions with some downtown first runs. Both houses are featuring Saturday afternoon kiddy parties with a variety of kid films, refreshments, souvenirs, prizes and stage entertainment."

kencmcintyre on March 22, 2010 at 8:23 am

OK, thanks for the explanation.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 22, 2010 at 3:19 am

No, it was never known as Bomes Theatre, It was a theatre in the Bomes mini-chain, which included the Hollywood in East Providence and the Palace in Jamestown. The fact that the Bomes name is carved at the top of the theatre facade only indicates that it was part of that ownership. The other two also had the name Bomes carved in front. It was never named Bomes Theatre, from its beginning to the present. The Hollywood in East Providence was the Hollywood from begining to end, though newspaper articles incorrectly referred to it as the “Bomes” Theatre. The Art Cinema had only two names: the Liberty and then the Art Cinema. Patrons went to the Liberty, then to the Art. All the newspaper ads (I have checked them from the 1920s to the 1960s) list it as the Liberty and then the Art, never Bomnes. If they refurbish it now and call it Bomes Theatre, well then that is a different story.

kencmcintyre on March 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Is Bomes Theatre an AKA? It seems to be carved into the theater at the top.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 28, 2009 at 6:25 pm

You can post on the Westminster Playhouse page by clicking this following link which will take you there and then posting as you have done with the Art Cinema:

This link will take you to the Capitol Theatre:

abrunner24 on November 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Dear Mr DeLuca, Again, you are right and the book was Temples of Illusion> I recall that it was very well written and loaded with so much information especially the older theatres that were in Providence. Though I have a computer there are a lot of things that I don’t know how to run. You have asked me to repost my comments on the Westminster Playhouse and I don'tknow howtodo that. Another theatre that I had an interest in was the Capitol.I was onlyin it once and it had to have been in the fifties. I remember there was an extension of the stage halfway up the middle aisle in the orchestra. I believe thaqt this “walkway” was used by dancers in the era that the theatree had burlesque. The second balcony I believe did not have seats but slats and people that were homeless would pay the admission (around 35 cents) and sleepon the slats. I think but am not sure that the house for a time ran 24 hours and there was a sign out front that said “always open, never closed”.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 28, 2009 at 2:34 am

Abrunner & Ritota,
Again, I request that you post or copy and re-post some of your comments on the Westminster Playhouse on its own page, listed under Modern Theatre:

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 28, 2009 at 2:25 am

Thanks for the compliment, but I never wrote a book on Providence film theatres. I refer a lot on these pages though to Roger Brett’s splendid work on that subject, Temples of Illusion.

nritota on November 27, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Hello Abrunner
Pat was a bigger guy with curly light brown hair. Doug Amos was president of SBC for the entire run of the company. We were sold to Hoyts around 1985. They purchased Cinema Centers Corp (CCC) just prior to SBC.

Things were never the same after the purchase. Slowly, all of the SBC people left. We were a great little company with a lot of integrity; the new owners and the CCC people installed to run the show were quite simply not.

Anyway, it was a great run while it lasted. I got to book, advertise, run promotions, etc., while working all of New England and upstate NY. Wouldn’t change a thing!

abrunner24 on November 27, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Hello Nick,I remember the name Pat Carter. Was he a big framed guy? Perhaps I met him through the years. YOu moved up to DM with BC.Whatever happened tothat company, and was Doug Amos still with SBC during the time worked there as DM?

abrunner24 on November 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Dear Mr. DeLuca, Greetings from London! It was so long ago and you are most likely right about the single feature of “Bread, Love, & Dreams”. To this day I can remember that night as if it was yesterday. It looked so good to look up to the balcony and ses all the people there. Maybe it was to be the biggest night at the theate as it was torn down a few years later. As stated in my comments above, I was facinated about that theatre as so much literature was found in the office regarding it’s earlier days as a resident stock company and I took a lot of things from that office, but it is long gone.
I wish to thank you for all the work you have done regarding theatres in Providence. I have read your book and it was wonderful reading. The effort you have put forth is amazing and your dedication to this subject is endearing.
My very first “gig” in show business was conductor of the show “kiddies On Parade” broadcast saturday mornings from Fay’s Theatre! I bhelieve the time frams would be around 1948.

nritota on November 25, 2009 at 5:02 pm


I worked for Ed’s replacement when I was at the Avon. Pat Carter, who later became a district manager for SBC, ran the Avon and then moved over to Cinerama. I was hired by Larry Johnson; his son commented on the Cinerama page.

When I became a DM for SBC we had offices in the theatre district and then later in the burbs. Jack spoke of the Cameo, which I believe is still running. He lived in Rockland when I worked in Providence.

Of course, in my younger years, I would run film to the Art. The manager was Charlie and I would rush to deliver so I could catch a few minutes of the ‘racy’ films. They were rated R at best by today’s standards (I have a feeling my earlier post was removed so I am being very delicate.) The Art I knew was quite different than the one you knew!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 25, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Very fascinating comments. You should repost them on the Modern Theatre/Westminster Playhouse page: /theaters/6596/
When Bread Love and Dreams played there it was alone on a single bill. I have the Providence Journal newspaper ad, but perhaps it was paired in a later run? On that solo run it was a move-over from the Avon where it had played for “four record-breaking weeks.” The times were 2:10, 4:00, 5:55, 7:45, 9:35 in that ad I have.

abrunner24 on November 19, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Small world indeed! Jack O'Sullivan invited me to his house for dinner one night and I believe he lived in Randolph or Norwell. I remember dinner with his wife but I don’t know if his daughter was born yet. The date I believe was mostg likely 1960, as I filled in at the Cameo Theatre in S. Weymouth for a month after leaving the Art Cinema. This forum by Cinema Treasures is great as you can talk about the “good old days” making $40 bucks a week though I believe Jack bumped me up to $50 bucks for the Cameo job and I was commuting from Providence. I forgot to mention to you that my first manager deal after working at the Hope was the Westminster Playhouse, formerly E.M.Loews Victory and before that the Modern Theatr. It was on Westminster St. just up past Empire and a three block or so down from the Capitol Theatre. The Playhouse to me was a facinating theatre. Backstage and in the office there were tons of old playbills, payroll info, and advertising stuff when it was a live theatre.It had a small lobby but had around 1400-1500 seats wich orchestra and balcony. There were a lot of dressing rooms backstage and lighting equipment etc. including a piano. The stage door was on something lane, a very narrow street and 10 feet from the stage door was the Golden Dragon Restaurant and Hotel. They had a tiny bar with about six seats and tables for the Chinese restaurant. I was about20 or so but the bar was very happy to serve me. After work, we would go there for a couple of beers and some food. The hotel had about 8 rooms and it was a place that was rented out to prostitutes. Ah,downtown Providence!!! The theatre was rented to L&G who ran it as a “art” house. Let me clarify…I was the assisted manager and the Manager was Harry Sullivan, I believe. He was an easy going guy and had just retired from a career with the FBI. The biggest hit while I was there was a double bill of Italian exports…“Bread, Love, & Dreams' With Gina Lolabridigida (spelling wrong?)and another movie starring Anna Magnanni but I don’t recall the name. What I do remember was that it was springtime and when we opened on the first saturday there was a line outside waiting to get in. The show was to start at 6:30 and we decided to open up a little early because of the line. Good thing we did as the line drew and we had to open up the balcony! I don’t recall that the balcony was even clean as we never used it before as business didn’t warrant opening the balcony. Well, I can’t really recall if we sold out the house, and if not, we camepretty close. It did well enough that it was extended into a three week run. We were all pretty excited about the big crowds. I wasn’t there for the whole run by L&G, but I think the theatre was open for about three years. Iloved that theatre. I can barely remember that in the early fifties it rand as a legit house with plays and a resident cast.

Do you remember Ed Stokes who ran the Avon and Larry Johnston who ran the Castle? Ed Stokes is around and still lives in the Boston area though Larry Johnston passed away a number of years ago. I remember he ran the Elmwood for awhile.
I don’t understand the time that is given when our notes are posted. For instance it is now 7:15 in London so it is 2:15 in Providence. I’ll check the time it will say on the post.