Midway Theatre

830 Oakland Beach Avenue,
Warwick, RI 02889

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This small theatre was a short hop from the Oakland Beach doughboy and clamcake places. There was no “midway” in the former amusement park after it fell victim to the devastating 1938 hurricane, but the theatre showed movies well after that, into the early-1950’s. Information on this place would be appreciated.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 1, 2005 at 4:13 am

The Warwick City Times for August 17, 1932 shows an ad for the Scenic Theatre bill of Girl Crazy and Gloria Swanson in Tonight or Never…plus kiddie shows. I have been unable to determine whether the Scenic became the Midway, only that it was an Oakland Beach theatre that existed before the Midway and, like it, was located on Oakland Beach Avenue. It may well have been a seasonal theatre, open only in the summer months.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 7, 2005 at 3:17 pm

Yes, the Midway was previously called the Scenic Theatre. A photo of the building that had the Midway address, 830 Oakland Beach Road, appears in the volume Warwick’s 350 Year Heritage – A Pictorial Survey. The building, now housing J.O.N.A.H., is identified as the former Scenic. The building was donated to the Oakland Beach Congregational Church by Joseoph Carrolo (spelling?) and his daughter Alice Rounds. It is now operated by the City of Warwick as a community and senior center.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 30, 2006 at 4:16 am

The 1949 Film Daily Yearbook gives the seating capacity of the Midway as 350.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 23, 2010 at 6:35 am

Item in Boxoffice magazine, May 18, 1946:

Joe Carrolo Enlarges At Oakland Beach
OAKLAND BEACH, R.I. – Joseph L. Carrolo of the Midway here has enlarged and modernized his house. The back wall was pushed back to allow room for 100 new seats, which brings the capacity to 310, and a new “L” was built to permit a women’s lounge and men’s smoking room and larger office space. All renovations are complete except the interior painting which must be done on Wednesdays when there are no afternoon or evening shows.

Carrolo has been in the amusement business 55 years. His “regular line” is the Outdoor Amusement Enterprises, dealing in merry-go-rounds and park amusements. He loves all the phases of the amusement industry because, he explains, he is dealing with the youth of America. “I have great faith in the future of this country and much of it is based on the firsthand knowledge I have of the young people. They are great kids,” he said.

billhart49
billhart49 on July 15, 2010 at 10:56 am

Living in Oakland Beach from 1949-1962, I remember many Saturday and Sunday afternoons watching films and serials at this theatre. Then going across the street to the carousel and game arcade. I do remember that the seats were removed and it was turned into a roller skating rink (probably late fifties/early sixties). Last time I saw it a few years ago it had been turned into a church.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm

The movie The Peach at Oakland Beach was shown “to crowded houses” for at least week at the Scenic Theatre in 1921.
CLICK HERE
I can’t find any other reference to this silent movie. Interesting title though.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 16, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Ah, here it is again, with a description. Click it.
The Peach at Oakland Beach

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

The making of The Peach at Oakland Beach in the summer of 1921.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm

In September 1922 this theatre was part of Rhode Island’s Paramount Week. Click to see the ad in Providence News, September 1, 1922, which contains a list of all participating theatres as well as the films shown that week. This theatre was called the Scenic at that time.

PART ONE OF AD
PART TWO OF AD

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm

What was playing at the Scenic in June 1924, you ask?
These films.

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