Fairlawn Theatre

561 Smithfield Avenue,
Pawtucket, RI 02860

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The Fairlawn Theatre, known for a time as the Town and Country Cinema, was a neighborhood theatre in the Fairlawn district for many decades. It was torn down in the 1980’s.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 22, 2005 at 12:36 pm

Listed as the Fairlawn Theatre in 1941 and 1943 editions of Film Daily Yearbook, but no further details are given, not even a seating capacity.

By the 1950 edition of F.D.Y. it is still the Fairlawn Theatree and has a seating capacity given as 800.

Marialivia
Marialivia on August 25, 2005 at 12:40 pm

I’m so glad to have at least this further info on my favorite haunt in my growing-up days. As I’ve said in previous postings, I spent every Saturday matinee (and sometimes Sundays if I could wangle it) in this place and knew every fraction of a millimeter of it!! I’ve been trying for a long time to find out exactly when it opened, and your info on the listing in FDY in 1941 is of great interest to me. I recall that my parents took me to see “Gone With the Wind” there — the theater was new and it was the first time I’d been there. I’ve never understood how GWTW could be around for that length of time, because it was released in 1939, if I am correct. However, it was a phenomenon never duplicated in my lifetime, and perhaps it was shown and re-shown in these second-run theaters. I do recall that the Darlton Theater opened a bit prior to the Fairlawn, but I’ve never been able to pin down when it opened.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 27, 2005 at 11:43 pm

In the 1940s, I am told, the Pawtucket Fairlawn was owned by Dorothy Fisher and run by her son Harry Fisher.

Marialivia
Marialivia on August 29, 2005 at 2:49 pm

Yes, I knew Mr. Fisher from frequenting the Fairlawn. He lived in a lovely house on Cobble Hill Road that was known as “Cobblehurst.” I always thought it would be great to live in a house like that!! Thanks again for the info. (I didn’t know that his mother was the owner.)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 21, 2007 at 7:20 pm

The Fairlawn Theatre in Pawtucket is listed in the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac as part of the Levenson Circuit of Boston. Run by Joseph Levenson, the circuit controlled 12 theatres at the time, including the Coolidge Corner in Brookline MA and the South Station Theatre in Boston.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Item in Boxoffice magazine, November 6, 1954:
“The Fairlawn in adjacent Pawtucket, showing "The French Line,” advised patrons it would be omitted at the Saturday matinee, which is largely made up of juveniles."

[Note: that movie feature Jane Russell in a skimpy costume.]

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 21, 2010 at 3:16 am

For the record “JOHN AND MARY” was not family fare as mentioned above it carried an R -rating in its day.Today it might be PG.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on June 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm

In Geralds post of 8/22/05 I never saw a projectionist in a suit and tie at work,naybe it was different back them.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 29, 2010 at 5:09 pm

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

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Construction of the Fairlawn Theatre in 1940.

Boxoffice magazine reported in its April 24, 1940 issue:

“Another new theatre in Pawtucket looms, with the city zoning board meeting Wednesday to consider granting of construction permit for neighborhood house in the Fairlawn section of the city. Certificates of business incorporation were granted by the secretary of state’s office to Currie & Harmon, Inc., to carry on theatrical business in the state. Incorporators are Earl H. Mason and Alfred J. Joslin of Pawtucket and Cecelia A. Gilgannon of Lonsdale, R.I.”

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