Cinerama Theatre

811 Hope Street,
Providence, RI 02906

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Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 7, 2018 at 2:16 am

The 70mm release of “Gone With the Wind” did not play there. It played at the Four Seasons (now East Providence 10) in East Providence. I saw it there. I thought it was an abomination for the way it cropped and vandalized the original movie’s aspect ratio. “This is Cinerama” played there beginning August 9, 1961. I submitted a comment on that somewhere below. Check it out.

nritota
nritota on January 6, 2018 at 5:07 pm

I worked there in various capacities from 1968-79 and don’t recall either.

MSC77
MSC77 on January 6, 2018 at 4:01 pm

Does anyone recall (or willing to research) if the 70mm re-releases of “Gone With The Wind” (1967-68) and/or “This Is Cinerama” (1973) played here?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on December 21, 2017 at 4:57 am

I am not sure when the theatre first opened, but it was playing films in 1928, still the silent era.

nritota
nritota on May 25, 2015 at 4:45 am

Robert,

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.

Robert_Hoye
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.

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.

nritota
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: http://www.boxoffice.com/the_vault/issue_page?issue_id=1978-8-21&page_no=31#page_start

nritota
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.

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
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.

dickneeds111
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.

RoyRossi
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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm

nritota: Cinema Treasures' default view now displays only the ten most recent comments in a thread. If additional comments exist for a given theater, they are now displayed on additional pages. To see earlier comments, click on the (view all comments) link just above the first comment displayed on the default page.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 25, 2010 at 9:32 am

From Boxoffice magazine, August 21, 1961:

Sellout Audience at Opening of Cinerama in Providence
PROVIDENCE, RI – A sellout audience, together with a number of dignitaries, attended the gala opening of the new Cinerama Theatre, formerly the Hope Theatre, on the night of August 9, when the Lowell Thomas-Merian C. Cooper release “This is Cinerama,” was presented.

Among the first-nighters were Gov. and Mrs. John A. Notte, Jr., Catholic Bishop McVinney and Joan Zeller, “Miss Rhode Island,” who was official hostess for the occasion.

Two bands provided music for the program, searchlights probed the sky and radio and television personalities were on hand to give added importance to the event.

The new Cinerama Theatre here is the second of its kind in New England, the other one being located in Boston. A third is scheduled to be opened in Hartford, Conn., according to reports here.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 21, 2010 at 4:37 am

From Boxoffice magazine, February 4, 1956:

“In the most extensive cooperation promotion ever seen in this area, 14 Providence and nearby houses used record-breaking newspaper advertising space in heralding the joint premiere of "The Day the World Ended” and “Phantom from 10,000 Leagues.” Virtually taking over the amusement pages of the local press for several days, the following houses united in the ad: Elmwood, Hope, Uptown, Liberty, Castle, all in this city; Community, Centredale; Strand, Pawtucket; Union, Attleboro; Hollywood, East Providence; Palace, Cranston; Community, Wakefield; Park, Auburn; Palace, Arctic and Stadium, Woonsocket. A brief checkup of local houses indicated that opening days were solid."

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 14, 2010 at 4:16 am

Notice in Boxoffice Magazine from August 14, 1961 issue on the reopening of the Hope Theatre as the Cinerama, featuring the three-projector wide screen system:

“The new Cinerama Theatre, formerly the Hope on Hope Street, was opened August 9 after extensive renovations to convert it for exhibition of Cinerama productions, the first theatre in Rhode Island to be so equipped. The boxoffice had been selling reserved seats for the opening well in advance. Matinee prices are $1.25 and $1.49 and admission charges for evening performances are $1.75 and $2.00.”

nritota
nritota on May 9, 2010 at 5:55 am

lizzebeth1
I worked for Doug for years and never knew of this award. Nowhere during that time did I see any indication of technical awards.
I would assume that Jerry Lewis received this award in the 60’s when he was building his chain of twin cinemas that did not play R or X rated films. Assuming that this award ended when L&G did.
Nick

lizziebeth1
lizziebeth1 on May 8, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Dear Nick Ritota and Abrunner,
I didn’t expect you guys to be so quick! Sadly no, I am not Jack’s daughter or related to anyone in the US. I am an educator in Sydney Australia. Hi.
I am reseraching the Award’s history since c.1966 when Doug Amos is said to have handed out this “Gordon Light” award for technical achievement in the cinema industry. I found reference to it in an old issue of Boxoffice Magazine.
How much technical innovation for instance was honored by Doug Amos or anyone in L&G, or the Art Cinema, or SBC Management?
(Ha. This is getting complicated.) Do any of you recall Jerry Lewis getting the award?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 5, 2010 at 2:12 am

Nick, as I noted in the intro, the Cinerama was closed in 1983. I believe the Turkish movie Yol was the last picture I myself saw here, on March 19, 1983, before the theatre ceased operation not long thereafter.

nritota
nritota on May 4, 2010 at 7:17 pm

The Dulgarians took the Avon around 1975. I beleive the Castle was sold in the early 80’s. Not sure what year we dropped the Art since it’s X rated format was always problematic with the city of Providence.

Cinerama was closed around 1981 after I had moved on to other SBC properties.

Abrunner

Jacks daughter was Jackie (JackieO on the one post above). I would love to chat with her as well since her dad and i were so close.

abrunner24
abrunner24 on May 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Lockwood & Gordon operated the Hope Theatre as early as 1955 along with the Avon, Castle,and Westminster Playhouse downtown. Worked at the Hope Theatre and the Westminster Playhouse.

To:lizziebeth…Are you Jack O'Sullivan’s daughter? If so, I would like to hear from you regarding him. As far as I can remember I don’t recall a “Golden Light” award.

P.S. L&G later ran the Art Cinema starting around 1957 , but I don’t recall when they shut down operations there as I was long gone from Rhode Island.

nritota
nritota on May 4, 2010 at 3:37 am

lizziebeth1
I can’t vouch for the award as I don’t see the post above mentioning it, but Gordon Enterprises predated Lockwood & Gordon Enterprises as a theatre owner. Doug Amos was a manager who worked his way up and eventutually ran L&G. He then became president of SBC Management which purchased L&G around 1969 while I worked for the chain.

lizziebeth1
lizziebeth1 on May 3, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Dear Abrunner,

Can you enlighten me please what was the “Gordon Enterprises” “Golden Light” Award for “Technical Achievement”? I am specifically interested in Jerry Lewis having received this award some time around your era via Doug Amos. I take it the Company and the award itself are now past and it’s no longer awarded?