E.M. Loew's Center Theatre

144 Main Street,
Pawtucket, RI 02806

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rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm

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.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 2, 2012 at 10:23 am

This should not be listed as Loew’s Capitol, which gives a false impression that it was part of the Lorw’s/MGM empire. E.M. Loew ran his own circuit of theatres, and as far as I know, had no blood ties to Marcus Loew. This theatre was called the E.M. Loew Capitol and then renovated into the E.M. Loew Center. As the E.M. Loew Center, it was featured on the front cover of this trade journal in July, 1948:boxofficemagazine

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 1, 2011 at 10:17 am

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

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on February 1, 2011 at 9:43 am

The name of the company was Mutual Burlesque, one of the most important “wheels” in the business. I would guess that the word “burlesque” was frowned on or even banned in many places, especially in the New England states.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 1, 2011 at 8:17 am

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

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm

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

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Corrected link to Boxoffice issue, July 17, 1948, as posted above by Joe Vogel, where we can see some of the few existing photos of the Loew’s Capitol.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 19, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Interesting History.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on December 17, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Joe,
That is an excellent piece you’ve posted a link to. I believe it contains the only known photos of Pawtucket’s Loew’s Capitol/Center Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 26, 2009 at 4:43 am

The E.M. Loew circuit had the Capitol remodeled and renamed it the Center Theatre in 1948. An article about the project, which was designed by William Riseman Associates, appeared in Boxoffice Magazine, July 17, 1948. There was also a nice night photo of the new marquee of the Center on the cover of that issue of Boxoffice.

Marialivia
Marialivia on August 15, 2005 at 7:36 am

I did read about this film on IMDB and would be very interested in seeing it. I recall the general way of life and the way of thinking in Pawtucket back then (although I was probably in the second grade), and I can well imagine that it would have been considered “porn” back then. I plan to ask my movie maven son whether he might have a copy or know where we can get one.

I remember going to the Capitol to see the serial “Green Hornet” (we then called them “chapter pictures”) and received a free comic book, which I treasured. The Capitol became “declasse” a short time later, and I was not allowed to go there. But one of my favorite family stories (all true) involves my dear grandmother winning a LIVE turkey at the Capitol and taking it home with her on the bus!! (None of us had cars in those days.)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 14, 2005 at 2:46 am

Yes, it is tame…and I believe you are right about the belated importation and the timing of the release with Lamarr’s burgeoning popularity. I’ve seen it a couple of times over the years and I believe it has been shown on TCM. DVDs are available through Amazon.com and other outlets.

Marialivia
Marialivia on August 13, 2005 at 3:47 pm

It would be interesting to see that film now for historical purposes, but most likely it would be “tame” by today’s standards. I’m going to look it up on IMDB and see what I can learn about its U.S. release. It may just be that Lamarr had just come upon the scene in Hollywood and there was heightened interest in her past (maybe even by press agents?)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 13, 2005 at 2:38 pm

Oddly, the film did not open in New York until Christmas of 1940, judging from the date of the New York Times review.

Marialivia
Marialivia on August 13, 2005 at 1:02 pm

This is actually funny to me, because I remember the notorious Harry Curvin very well and witnessed his machinations in the State Legislature in the early fifties. I wonder if they allowed him to chomp on his cigar whilst he witnessed the beauteous Miss Lamarr’s nudity? Incidentally, the Czech film “Ecstasy” was made in 1933, and by 1939 Hedy Lamarr was up and coming in Hollywood and had gone on to more “mainstream” films. I believe it was that year that she appeared in “Algiers,” where Charles Boyer entreated her, “Come wiz me to de Casbah.” Obviously, it took a while for “Ecstasy” to get to Pawtucket!!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 13, 2005 at 12:23 am

Pawtucket Ecstasy ban:
From a July 29, 1939 Providence Journal article:

“Representative Hary F. Curvin, Public Safety Director in Pawtucket, yesterday banned the foreign-mde film ‘Ecstasy.’ because, he said, ‘it is sensuous—-would be detrimental to the morality of the youth of Pawtucket—-saturated with immorality.’

“The film stars Hedy Lamarr. Under the Curvin ban it cannot be shown in Pawtucket. It was billed for a run at the Capitol Theatre, opening Monday.

“Curvin notified Hyman Rodman, manager of the theatre, Thursday that he would not allow the film to be shown in Pawtucket. Curvin said that he had not seen the movie but had been prompted in his ruling by similar rulings in some other communities.

“Rodman asked Curvin to pre-view the movie. Curvin did so Thursday night. Early yesterday morning, after watching the film run off with Inspector Vincent Hourigan, Curvin told Rodman he was more convinced than ever that the film must not be shown in the city.”

Marialivia
Marialivia on August 3, 2005 at 4:58 am

What a wonderful photo, Gerald (I left comments at that site). I had a bit of trouble orienting myself into the photo, but now I see that it looks up Main Street, toward the old Music Hall Theater!! The Strand would be just around the corner on East Avenue, behind that spired bank on the left. Thanks again!! ML

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 3, 2005 at 3:40 am

Marialivia, I posted an old Main Street theatre called the Globe. Here it is and with a photo link.

Marialivia
Marialivia on June 28, 2005 at 2:56 pm

I just did so and wow, it’s wonderful!! The Music Hall was gone by the time I started school in the late 30s, but I heard about it frequently. Pawtucket was a GREAT place to grow up, and why o why did it have to change?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 28, 2005 at 7:12 am

Roland just posted an entry on the Music Hall with some incredible photos! Click and check it out.

Marialivia
Marialivia on June 28, 2005 at 6:05 am

The DMV is at 286 Main Street, so it would make sense that the Music Hall would be across the street, down a bit at 229, so my memory of that sign above the Peerless would so far seem accurate. Later today I plan to call an elderly friend of mine in Pawtucket who enjoys reminiscing about “the way it used to be,” and I’m sure he’ll shed some light on the exact location. Did you check in the city directory to find the address of the Peerless? It was opened sometime in the 40s (probably mid to late).

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 27, 2005 at 3:34 pm

The Music Hall was at 229 Main, according to a city directory I checked, and Roland is putting it up later today. I found a list of “coming movies” for the Music Hall in February, 1935. There was also a Globe Theatre at 175 Main, listed in 1914. They were sprouting like mushrooms.

Marialivia
Marialivia on June 27, 2005 at 2:47 pm

Great — I’ll check it out! I’ll be hoping to hear about your progress with the “Music Hall” investigation. I’m thinking that if the Capitol was at 156 Main, then the Music Hall would have been at about 185 to 199 Main. It’s amazing to me that virtually nothing is left of that bustling downtown, the one I knew so well growing up in Pawtucket.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 27, 2005 at 7:56 am

Marialivia, thanks. You and Roland Lavallee have provided plenty of information about Pawtucket to whet my appetite. Having grown up in Johnston, my knowledge of the Pawtucket theatres is very indirect. I visited the Strand once, saw the closed Capitol or whatever it was called in the late 1950s and wondered about it, saw the exterior of the Broadway, visited the Fairlawn a couple of times, the Leroy a few times, and the Darlton many times. I paid $32 for Temples of Illusion. It is out of print now, but you could check from time to time with www.abebooks.com to see if more used copies become available.