Kent Cinema

495 Main Street,
East Greenwich, RI 02818

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The Kent Cinema began its life after World War II when the building that housed a USO recreational facilty was converted into a theatre. Along with the Greenwich Theatre further down Main Street, it played recent American releases. The main auditorium was eventually twinned, with a separte third cinema on the right side of the lobby also being added.

The theatre could not compete for product with the opening of the nearby multiplex, the Showcase Warwick Cinemas, in the 1980s and it was forced to shut down later in the decade. The theatre was razed in the early 1990’s.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 27, 2005 at 8:05 pm

Here is a photo of the USO Club building during the World War II era. Later this building became the Kent Theatre.

hardbop
hardbop on May 20, 2005 at 12:05 pm

Like the Greenwich, a few blocks away on Main Street, thank the Showcase Cinemas for the demise of this theatre. I think the last film I caught here was FLASHDANCE. I also remember seeing THE PRINCE OF THE CITY here as well as during college, the summer of ‘70, to catch THE DEER HUNTER here.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 18, 2005 at 5:20 pm

Here is a photo of the Kent Theatre (as it was known then) in 1949.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 25, 2005 at 1:24 pm

The Kent was demolished in 1995. The site is now a Centreville Bank with front parking area.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 7, 2005 at 5:07 am

I caught a second-run showing here in July of 1982 of Francesco Rosi’s lyrical Three Brothers. At this point they were showing the occasional well-reviewed or well-performing foreign films on the smallest of their screens. The Swedish My Life as a Dog ran here also. And I just found a news blurb about a free screening in December, 1981 of François Truffaut’s 1958 The 400 Blows, part of the Kent County Mental Health Center’s series on Cinema and Mental Health: Exploring Emotional Crisis Through Film. These occasional showings of foreign-language films (there were a few others) were probably the only ones ever in the town of East Greenwich. East Greenwich currently has no movie theatres. The Showcase Warwick Cinemas effectively ended that.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 30, 2006 at 3:33 am

The 1949 Film Daily Yearbook listed the seating capacity as 800.

drivinmanfl
drivinmanfl on December 6, 2006 at 6:45 pm

My father showed the movies in cinema 2 from the early 70s until Kent closed. Sometimes I would go with him and sit up in the projection booth with him so I could watch the movies for free!! I was only a kid then, so I thought it was the greatest thing. Was cool how he worked the projectors because movies were on reels back then. He had to get the second one ready before the first one ran out, and not miss a beat in the movies. One time, the second reel didn’t start correctly, so there was about a 5 minute break in the movie until he got it going. I don’t remember what the movie was, though. I do remember seeing a Rocky and Star Wars double feature at the Hilltop Drive-In a couple of miles further down Post Road. I may live in Florida now, and my parents live in Tennessee, but we all have fond memories of little ol' RI!!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 22, 2007 at 8:11 am

In the summer of 1970 the single-screen Kent was triplexed. Its main auditorium was split in two resulting in one cinema in the front, one in the rear. A third smaller cinema was added on the right side of the building.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 4, 2009 at 12:48 pm

A 1986 photo can be seen here.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 13, 2009 at 3:19 am

Breaking news from the Traverse City (MI) Record-Eagle, dated 9/18/63:
http://tinyurl.com/o3oa5r

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