Metropolitan Theatre

9 Chestnut Street,
Providence, RI 02903

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rongiorgio1915 on August 9, 2017 at 1:44 am

As an avid Frank Sinatra fan, I frequently try to find out where and when Sinatra performed in Providence before the Civic Center. During a performance the other day, an elderly woman informed me that she remembers visiting ‘The Met’ and paying 15 cents to see a young Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey sometime in 1940. This would mean he had been performing professionally for less than 10 months. Can anybody elaborate on this info?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 25, 2015 at 12:26 pm

1941 PHOTO OF METROPOLITAN IN MGM REPORT Thanks to Theatre Historical Society of America.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 1, 2015 at 6:10 pm

Where the Metropolitan Theatre was located there is now an apartment building, Beneficent House. I now live in that building. In the entrance lobby there is a painting of the former theatre that occupied that space.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 1, 2015 at 2:45 pm

The Theatre Historical Society has the MGM Theatre Report for the Metropolitan, Card # 548. There is an exterior photo dated May 1941. Address is 9 Chestnut. The theater is in “Fair” condition and is not showing MGM films. Seating: Orch., 1,786; Balcony, 927; Mezzanine, 382; total- 3,095. Someone crossed out that total and wrote in “Total 3,045.”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 26, 2013 at 8:56 am

In The Providence Journal, August 26, 2013, there appears this extensive (online) article on the birth, life, and death of the Metropolitan Theatre. Several rare and excellent photos are shown.


Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 27, 2011 at 5:33 am

Opening day ad for the Metropolitan, August 25, 1932.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 25, 2010 at 10:21 am

Three months later Conn filed for bankruptcy. Item in Boxoffice magazine, November 3, 1932:

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 25, 2010 at 10:17 am

Report on the opening of Conn’s Metropolitan Theatre on August 25, 1932 at 10 a.m., in Boxoffice magazine, September 1, 1932:

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 23, 2010 at 6:09 am

Record Roundup Propgram is a Hit In Providence
Item on the Metropolitan Theatre, Boxoffice magazine, November 3, 1945:
View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 22, 2010 at 6:13 am

“Testimony on Providence Metropolitan is Taken"
Boxoffice magazine on June 10, 1939 ran this long piece on the Metropolitan Theatre, dealing with an anti-trust suit in film bookings, and preference shown to the nearby Bijou in the supplying of films by distributors.
View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 19, 2010 at 11:56 am

Heifetz at the Metropolitan Theatre. Item in Boxoffice magazine, February 21, 1953:

The Metropolitan interrupted “Treasure of the Golden Condor” for a one-night appearance of violinist (Jascha) Heifetz.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 15, 2010 at 7:56 am

An item on the razing of the Metropolitan Theatre appeared in Boxoffce Magazine, October 30, 1961:
View link
(Click and expand to read better. Column 3)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Interesting. That movie today would get a PG rating. I remember the huge ads for it in the Providence Journal when it was shown here as well as all the hullabaloo. I was just a kid. I didn’t manage to see it until years later. Netflix doesn’t seem to carry it, but it is available through eBay.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 11, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Off topic,I guess.I think there is a MASH TV episode where HawKeye and BJ try to get a copy of “THE MOON IS BLUE”.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 11, 2010 at 9:21 am

The Moon is Blue, film and play.
From Boxoffice, April 24, 1954:
“The Metropolitan, closed more often than open, and which after several months darkness opened for a two-week engagement of "The Moon is Blue,” will give the Broadway verson of “The Moon is Blue” for three days, April 29-May 1, with the orginal New York cast. Because considerable controversy was caused when the motion picture was originally scheduled, and because the Met opened only long enough to present this single attraction, despite a storm of protests, many local theatregoers are cogitating over the motives behind the situation."

[Note: The film had been denied a Hays code seal of approval and was opposed by the Catholic Legion of Decency for the use of the terms “seduction” and “virgin” in the movie. The Diocese of Providence, with its chancery office located only yards away from this theatre, was aggressive in its disapproval of the showing of Otto Preminger’s delightful comedy, which starred Maggie McNamara, David Niven, and William Holden.]

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 11, 2010 at 8:43 am

Revival of Chaplin’s 1931 City Lights at the Metropolitan.
From Boxoffice Magazine, December 2, 1950:
“The recent presentation of Charlie Chaplin’s "City Lights” at the Metropolitan not ony resulted in Bradford F. Swan, critic on the Journal-Bulletin, devoting practically the entire column praising the film and its artistry, but it also made the In Perspective column, which is alternately written by leading staff writers and has met with such widespread acclaim that the choicest bits have been published in book form."

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 9, 2010 at 7:17 pm

That Olneyville theatre mentioned by Christopher Ducharme was the Olympia. It has a page on CT with some rare photos.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Thanks Christopher for an interesting historical background.

chrissle on June 9, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Hello. My name is Chris Ducharme. I, along with my father, brother and another partner, are principal owners of the E. Turgeon Construction Corporation located here in Cranston, Rhode Island. My father is the President and worked for the last surviving Turgeon (Ed Turgeon) until he purchased the company from him in 1976. We were recently contacted by Boris W. Fedoff (cultural historian & researcher in New York City) via email about the construction of the Metropolitan Theatre here in Providence, RI. The construction company of record was “E. Turgeon Construction Company”. He tells me (and this was verified by my father) that the E. Turgeon Construction Company was owed a considerable amount of money for the construction of the theater. Shortly after it opened on August 25, 1932 (scaled down from a 4,000 seat theater w/ a 250 room hotel and 64 luxury apartments to a 3,000 seat theater with no hotel ever built) it soon closed on October 8, 1932 due to Jacob Conn’s lack of money and lack of business (considering it was during the Great Depression), and was subsequently foreclosed upon. Apparently, the Turgeons accepted the theater and another piece of land which Conn owned closeby in Onleyville (currently where the Onleyville Towers resides – built & originally owned by Turgeon Construction Company) in trade for the outstanding debt owed to them by Conn. The Turgeons ran the theater for a short time before selling it (actual dates unknown). Interestingly enough, my older brother (who does not work for the E. Turgeon Construction Corporation) married the original architect’s (Oresto DiSaia, Architect of Record – Metropolitan Theater) grand-daughter. What are the odds of that? I am fascinated about Turgeon Construction’s involvement in the construction of this theater and plan on searching our archives for any information pertaining to it. I can be reached via email: Thanks for the incredible stories and historical accounts of this once, seemingly great idea of a theater!

RobinRose on December 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I am working on my family genealogy and was told that my grandfather worked at the Metropolitian in Providence about 70 years ago. His name was Domenico Thomas Delvecchio and I was hoping that someone may know of him and could help me piece his life together. I really enjoyed looking at all the old photos. Thanks, Robin

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 15, 2009 at 10:10 am

Contralto Marian Anderson gave a recital here on Sunday afternoon, December 3, 1937. She was billed in newspaper ads as “The World-Famous Negro Contralto.” Ticket prices ranged from $1.10 to $2.75. The Monte Carlo Ballet Russe had performed on November 25. There were special sprices for attending both avents, from $1.65 to $4.40 for the two performances. Impresario for the events was Aaron Richmond.

JacobConn on January 4, 2009 at 9:55 am

Thank you for your input. It says “Conn’s Metropolitan Theater” on the back of the photograph.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 4, 2009 at 12:28 am

Looking at the 1932 photo again, I notice that there is equipment hanging from the roof sign, and the marquee attraction board is empty. I’d say it’s likely the theatre was not yet open when the photo was taken. The photo might date from early August.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 4, 2009 at 12:09 am

Gerald: I think it probably says “Metropolitan” on the front of the marquee. Here are a couple of excerpts from an article in the September 1, 1932, issue of New England Film News: [quote]“August 25 at 10 o'clock a.m., marked the opening of "Jake” Conn’s new 4100 seat Metropolitan Theatre here….

“‘Jake’…stated that never in his opening of 16 theatres has he ever been accorded such a grand ovation as on the opening of the new Conn’s Metropolitan.”[/quote]
The article also noted that the Metropolitan would be operated as a subsequent-run house with “…admissions scaled to a 30-cent top at all times.”

Conn’s Metropolitan should probably be listed as an aka.