Warwick Mall Cinemas

400 Bald Hill Road,
Warwick, RI

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This opened as a twin cinema in the early 1970’s, and it was where many of the major films of the era opened in the Providence area after the downtown Providence theatres closed. I saw THE EXORCIST and THE GODFATHER in this theatre. The General Cinema chain also owned the Lincoln Mall Cinemas and Garden City Cinemas, both also gone. One of the two auditoriums was eventually twinned.

The theatre went into decline over the years, after the opening of the Showcase Warwick multiplex. It was torn down less than five years ago. Now, in another part of Warwick Mall, a multiplex cinema has been built called the Showcase Warwick Mall.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

hardbop
hardbop on March 31, 2005 at 11:05 am

Yeah, I remember seeing Jaws here when it came out. I was in high school and for about two years I had the willies when I swam in fresh water!

I remember when the “lost” Hitchcock films (there were five of them) were screened after a long hiatus I saw some of them here back in the 1980s. “Rear Window” I believe was one of the films.

I don’t remember the details, but for some reason — rights disputes I would assume — five or so of Hitchcock’s films didn’t screen for years and years and finally they cleared up the disputes and screened the films in first-run houses like the Warwick Mall.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 5, 2005 at 9:47 am

The only think I didn’t like about this theatre was that the auditoriums (when they were a twin theatre) had screens that had sort of funnel-like metallic sides. I believe they were grayish. When the left-as-you-enter auditorium was twinned, I believe each then had fixed black masking. There were no curtains and no variable masking in the house. CinemaScope films filled the screen, but in standard aspect-ratio movies, there was a blank area of white screen on either side. As a purist, I’ve always felt that correct screen masking is essential to full enjoyment of what you were watching and part and parcel of a good projection system as much as good focus, brightness, and sound quality.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on May 5, 2005 at 10:49 am

I wonder if the gray sides were the same metal General Cinema used in all their auditorium sidewalls? Maybe they extended them to the sides of the screens here.

brianmichela
brianmichela on August 27, 2005 at 5:10 am

In the 1970s and 1980s, I saw most movies at either the Warwick Mall Cinemas or the Showcase. The downtown movie palaces had closed, and, when the neighborhood theaters were sliced into mini theaters, I stopped going to them. I did make an exception, though, with the Cinerama which sometimes showed a foreign film that I wanted to see.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 12, 2005 at 4:56 am

The Warwick Mall Cinemas closed on January 28, 1999 after the last showings of A Bug’s Life and Mighty Joe Young. It had opened in April of 1971 twenty-eight years earlier. A Providence Journal article from the previous day reported the closing. The Theatre had opened as a two-screener. Later one of the auditoriums was split in two. The seating capacities were 450, 360, and 330.

hardbop
hardbop on April 26, 2006 at 6:31 am

Last film I caught here was WAR OF THE ROSES in the late 80s.

frankd
frankd on July 13, 2007 at 5:59 am

I have to correct a previous posting – Ed Renden was NOT the manager of Warwick Mall Cinemas, Bill Quarters was. Ed was the manager of Garden City Cinema, then Swansea Mall, and finally Lincoln Mall (all part of the General Cinema chain). After all of those cinemas closed, he went to Showcase Cinemas in Seekonk in the mid-90s.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on July 13, 2007 at 7:32 am

Sorry for the error, Frank, I confused Lincoln Mall with Warwick. That’s what happens as the years go by…

DOS76
DOS76 on July 20, 2008 at 2:59 am

ed renden i hear is at the showcase seekonk on fall river avenue- he used to work at the small theatre across the street 9-10 before they closed it- he worked with a another manager who was a very good friend of mine who i have lost touched with- wonder where he is now any one know?

hardbop
hardbop on October 10, 2012 at 8:49 am

I was thinking about this theatre the other day. The Brooklyn Academy of Music revived NIGHT OF THE COMET, which I caught on original release at this theatre back in 1984 when I was back in Warwick for a family visit
.

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