17 Water Street,
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This old wood-frame theatre is one of the oldest existing theaters in the State of Rhode Island and exudes a certain kind of summer-camp charm. It is on Block Island in the town of New Shoreham. It was built in 1882 as a roller skating rink. By 1897 it was in use as a church, ballroom and for storage. It soon converted into a playhouse theatre named Empire Theatre and in the early-1900’s it began screening movies. It was closed in the mid-1980’s and in 1986 new owners took over and began a restoration project.
The Empire Theatre reopened in 1993 with the movie “Alive”. It operates in summer months as Block Island’s only movie theater.
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