Darlton Theatre

810 Newport Avenue,
Pawtucket, RI 02861

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rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 27, 2015 at 11:36 am

There are TWO reports for the Darlton Theatre in the MGM Theatre Report project. Each report has a slightly different photo of the facade. Both reports are in the Theatre Historical Society archive. Card # 90 has almost no info and has the incorrect city, stating that the Darlton is in the town of"Darlington, Mass.“ which does not exist. Card # 533 is correct. It lists the address as 807 Newport Avenue in Pawtucket. The photo of the exterior was taken in April 1941. The Report says that it has 901 seats, apparently all on one floor, and that it was built in 1940 and is in excellent condition. It exhibits MGM product. The photo has Frederick March in "Victory” posted on the marquee.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 1, 2013 at 10:41 am

The Theatre Historical Society arvhive in Illinois has the MGM Theatre Report for the Darlton. But no one filled it out, so there is no info. There is an undated photo, very similar to the one above, and on it is written “Darlton Theatre in Darlington, Massachusetts, 3 miles east of Pawtucket”. So they got the location wrong. However, the MGM Report for the Bates Theatre in Attleboro lists the Darlton as a competing theater and correctly states that it is in Pawtucket.

bonniebritland on September 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I worked at this theater as a candygirl and in the box office as a cashier during high school and college.It was not owned by Joe Jarvis,but by the Pinault family,They also owned the drugstore on the corner across from Kip’s and the Beef Hearth. In the 60’s they showed many first run movies.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 29, 2010 at 9:08 am

Operators of various theatres in the Pawtucket-Lincoln-Valley Falls area in 1951, gave their opinions on ways to combat the effects of TV on their theatres. Written as a report for the Pawtucket Times, the results were also reported in Boxoffice magazine in the issue of January 27, 1951:
View link

MrBluehaunt on January 31, 2010 at 6:36 am

Here are a few photos from about 1941:
View link

rkq on July 31, 2009 at 7:29 pm

The Dalton…my first offical job as a union projectionist. It was summer daily matinees with all Disney films. Joe Jarvis had the lease and his son helped him run it. It was a very attractive building. Had a cryroom next to the projection room. The projection room was quite large with a window overlooking Pawtucket Ave.

James Fisher
James Fisher on May 1, 2008 at 3:54 pm

I rememebr KIps being on the same block as the Dalton while across the stree was The Beef hearth then later Harrys beef hearth now iam not sure probably a parkling lot lol

Egeoffroy on April 30, 2008 at 1:47 pm

I was just a little snot-nosed kid in 1977 but I remember the line around the block for Star Wars. I think that’s what it was.

Thanks for the picture. It gave me goosebumps. for real!

RonnieD on May 14, 2007 at 5:43 am

I would think there would be other pictures of the Darlton around perhaps taken by people in the neighborhood, but unitl they surface, if ever, thanks for sharing the Journal one. It’s a treasure.
I never knew before hand that the Darlton was closing. I live in southeastern Mass. but use to venture across the state line for movies. I often didn’t have access to a R.I. paper (there were no computers) to see film listings so I’d drive down Newport Ave, check out what was playing on the beautiful Darlton marquee, drive another mile down the road to the 4 Seasons to see what they were offering and then decide what I wanted to see.
The night I drove up to a vacant dirt lot where that beautiful theater use to be, I was devastated. It was like a bomb had fallen and obliterated it. There was a sign on the property announcing that the next attraction on the site would be a new bank “coming soon”. I was heartbroken and still miss the Darlton.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 11, 2007 at 9:06 am

That’s the only currently known picture of the Darlton, and it was published in the Providence Journal at the time of the theatre’s closing. There must be more photos out there.

RonnieD on May 11, 2007 at 8:26 am

One of my favorites. Right on the sidewalk of Newport Avenue with classic illuminated V-shaped marquee. The parking lot was to the left of the theater and wrapped around the back of the building. As I recall the box office was inside the foyer doors with the concession stand beyond. The very comfortable auditorium was raked and moderately fan-shaped and I believe there was some ornamentation on the sidewalls.
Despite being a neighborhood theater, it did occasionally offer first run features to R.I. at least in the late 60’s early 70’s. As mentioned above “A Man For All Seasons”; “Anne Of the Thousand Days”; in addition to “Is Paris Burning?”; “The Sugarland Express”
First film seen at the Darlton: “Walk, Don’t Run” Summer 1966. Last movie seen there: Slasher film “Ruby” in 1977.
Priceless picture Gerald. Thanks

James Fisher
James Fisher on April 28, 2007 at 10:57 pm

The Dalton once a plush Cinema went down i went to the theatre in the mid 1977 with Roxy for he had purchased some of the Conccession Equiment and short cartoons i at the time was only 11 years old i was fasinated with some of the theatre we went to as far as New Hampshire on Sunday drives before heading to the Union

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 24, 2005 at 3:25 am

A cultural presentation on October 21 & 22 of 1965 was La Bohème, a filming of a La Scala opera production of Puccini’s popular masterpiece.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 26, 2005 at 2:25 am

I saw the film Lifeguard here on September 19, 1976. I believe it might have been the last film I ever saw here before the theatre closed a year later.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 15, 2005 at 6:54 am

In September of 1975 the Darlton was a discount house showing Bite the Bullet for $1.00.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 13, 2005 at 3:36 am

The Ken Loach film Poor Cow was playing its second week here at the beginning of May, 1968. This was an unusual art-house type booking for this former neighborhood theatre.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 30, 2005 at 1:35 am

…and I don’t know about Anne of a Thousanad Days, but Taming of the Shrew played at the R.K.O. Albee, although that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been a move-over. In fact I photographed the theatre when the marquee showed that title. Here it is. The loss of the R.K.O. Albee was the greatest theatre-tragedy in Providence, in my opinion, akin to the demolition of the Durfee in Fall River.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 30, 2005 at 1:20 am

Dick, you mention Somerset. I recently photographed what’s left of the Somerset Theatre. If you remember that at all, here is its page.

DickMorgan on July 29, 2005 at 9:07 pm

Your memory serves you right. “A Man for All Seasons” played at this theater and I and my Dad drove from Somerset to see it. I had the same curiosity as to why this film opened here instead of the Elmwood Theater. Maybe the “Sound of Music” playing down at the Warwick Cinema was the first to start this trend. I am not sure, but did “Anne of a Thousand Days” play here as well and also the Burton-Taylor “Taming of the Shrew”? 1966, almost 40 years ago!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 1, 2005 at 4:42 am

Here is a photo of the Darlton from 1975.
View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 19, 2004 at 6:21 am

I truly enjoyed going to this theatre from the time I was in high school in the late 1950s until the years before it was closed in the 1970s. The first film I ever saw here, I believe, was Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments.” If memory does not fail, the film “A Man for all Seasons” had its R.I. area premiere here in 1966, unusual for a suburban movie house known for playing second-run programs after they had shown in Providence.