E.M. Loew's Center Theatre

144 Main Street,
Pawtucket, RI 02860

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E.M. Loew's Center Theatre

Located next to the Pawtucket River in downtown Pawtucket, this opened as the Scenic Theatre. On June 7, 1926 it opened as the 1,500-seat State Theatre with the play “The Alarm Clock” presented by The Hall Stock Company. It was also screening movies. The auditorium had seating in orchestra & balcony levels. By 1930 it was taken over by the E.M. Loew’s chain and renamed Capitol Theatre having been equipped with a Pacent sound system and a Western Electric sound system.

In 1948 it was remodelled to the plans of architectural firm William Riseman Associates and was renamed E.M. Loew’s Center Theatre. It closed in the 1950’s and was razed after that.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 35 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Thanks Gerald.Great story.Picture.Loews was a classy outfit.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 1, 2011 at 5:17 am

Ad for a stage show at the State Theatre in 1926.
CHICK CHICK

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 1, 2011 at 7:17 am

Burlesque wasn’t frowned upon at that time in Providence, just five miles away:
1921
1929
Perhaps it was a Pawtucket hang-up.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 2, 2012 at 10:34 am

Tinseltoes- Yes, E.M. Loew had no blood relation to Marcus Loew, who was a generation older. His theaters almost always had “E.M. Loew” in the heading rather than just “Loew” in order to avoid confusion.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 4, 2015 at 11:39 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for this theater when it was the Capitol. Address was “Main Street”. There is an exterior photo shot May 1941. The condition is Fair; the theater was over 15 years old, and not showing MGM films. There were 800 seats on the main floor and 450 in the balcony; total 1,250 seats.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 15, 2021 at 9:00 am

In an ad in the Pawtucket Evening Times on October 17, 1913 by Princess Furs, its address is given as 146 Main Street or “next to Scenic Theatre.” This leads me to believe that this State-Capitol-Center Theatre (144 Main Street) was the Scenic Theatre before that.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 16, 2021 at 4:37 am

I believe the Capitol Theatre photos, all of them, are correct. The candy store to the right is in several of them, and it was the original corner entrance to the Scenic Theatre. The Capitol entrance moved to the left after the Scenic entrance became the candy store. The tax record photo is also the same photo. Also the remodeling brochure image shows it to be the same Capitol marquee, with candy store to the right next door in that as well.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 16, 2021 at 4:39 am

This murder story also uses the Capitol tax record photo.

https://medium.com/the-asylum-antiquarian/a-fiendish-murder-the-rhode-island-cold-case-you-never-heard-of-e353771e8bcc

robboehm
robboehm on January 16, 2021 at 9:44 am

I’ve uploaded two postcard images of the Main Street block from both directions where signage for the Scenic appears. The signage is at the end of the building but I believe the theatre entrance is actually the white arched space to the left.

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