Cinerama Theatre

811 Hope Street,
Providence, RI 02906

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Cinerama Providence

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This began life prior to 1934 as a neighborhood theatre called the Hope Theatre. It originally had 1,011 seats. In August 1961, it was converted for use in exhibiting 3-projector Cinerama features, which it did successfully until the process became obsolete.

A period of revivals and some first runs ensued until the theatre was twinned in the 1970’s and became a very successful art house showing some of the best product of the period, as well as occasional series of Hollywood classics in revival.

This policy continued through 1983, when the theatre property was purchased and the site was demolished for the purpose of erecting a CVS drugstore.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 58 comments)

RoyRossi on December 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm

To Gerald – The last day was indeed March 19, 1983. We did the Rocky Horror Picture show there, ending a 4+ year run. It was at midnight, so technically I guess it was March 20.

I kept track of all the casting so I had the date.

dickneeds111 on February 18, 2012 at 11:53 am

Having been to the Cinerama in Providence only once(Ice Station Zebra) and also having been to 3strip/70mm Cinerama theatres such as Boston, Wash. D.C.(Warner and Uptown, Baltimore(Mayfair), San Diego(also a lockwood /Gordon, Seattle(Before remodel), San Francisco,and Rotterdam, Holland.I rate the Providence as my 3rd favorite. San diego #1, Boston#2, Seattle #4, Uptown #5 Rotterdam #6, Seattle #7 and the god awful Mayfair in Baltimore#99 with the Golden Gate in San Francisco as # 98. I rate these as picture & sound quality, Comfortable Seating, and Cleanliness. The only ones left as Cinemas are Seattle, Rotterdam And San Francisco(Legitimate stage). I,m sorry the Uptown in D.C. is still a cinema and the Warner in D.C. is a stage theatre. Boston is an empty parking lot.

nritota on February 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm

This page has the theatre as previously operated by Cinerama. This theatre was never operated by the Cinerama company. When it was renamed and reopened in 1961, it was owned by Lockwood and Gordon Enterprises. L& G was sold to SBC Management (a division of Sonderling Broadcasting) in the mid-sixties.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm

to dickneeds111- “Boston (Cinerama) is an empty parking lot”. No. The parking lot is next to the theater. The Boston Cinerama (ex- RKO Keith Boston Theatre) still exists in the rear of the large building at Washington & Essex streets. It’s been closed up for many years.

nritota on August 9, 2012 at 10:10 am

Quite the pics of the old interior! As someone who worked every position in the then Cinerama, I remember going up over the old back stage fake box seats (just out of view of the proscenium) and viewing the original ceiling. The screen was pulled way forward for Cinerama to get the width, which explains the seat reduction from 1100-756.

Also, the inner foyer doors were removed for the remodel, although the box-office was still in the small space on the right of the lobby. At the end of the inner foyer (l&r) were the rest rooms. Ladies on the left, men to the right.

Although far from a palace, it’s a shame that the old girl is gone.

nritota on November 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Even though this article was well past the glory days, here is a box office story of a promo we ran at this theatre:

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 2, 2015 at 11:44 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for this theater when it was the Hope. It’s Card # 545. There is an exterior photo taken May 1941. Address is 811 Hope, condition is Good. It was not showing MGM films, and it had 934 seats.

Robert_Hoye on May 3, 2015 at 8:19 am

I was manager of the Hope Theater during Summer of 1955 and previously managed the Cameo Theater (Summer 1954) in South Weymouth, MA for Louis & Gordon Theaters Co of Boston. I was Assistant Manager of the Avon Cinema during the early 1950’s, also owned by Louis & Gordon. The Hope was a very busy, quality 2nd run movie house with a strong neigborhood following in those days.

nritota on May 25, 2015 at 4:45 am


I ran the theatre in the late 70’s and worked there from 1969. When I started, it was Lockwood & Gordon which must have been a successor to Louis and Gordon. It was purchased by SBC Theatres around ‘71 or so and remained in their hands until it was sold and torn down.

Just wondered if you knew Doug Amos or Jack O'Sullivan from your L&G days.

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