Star Theatre

614 Providence Street,
West Warwick, RI 02893

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Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 17, 2011 at 2:42 am

An item in the Providence News, May 8, 1920, refers to the Star Theatre in Natick:
[i]Moose to Show Films
Warwick Lodge, No. 996, Loyal Order of Moose, of Arctic, is making plans to exhibit four reels of moving pictures at the Star Theatre, Natick, on next Wednesday evening. These pictures were taken in and about Mooseheart, sand will be explained by District Supervisor N. Waldo Kennedy of Providence. It is planned to show these pictures free of charge to the people in Natick.[/i]

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on February 15, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Hi Gerald! I’m replying 3 years later, but…there isn’t a link to a photo in your post of July 12, 2005.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 24, 2005 at 4:35 am

Here is an ad that appeared in the 1911 Pawtuxet Valley business directory for the Royal Theatre, William Brown, proprietor. I am confused by this, because the ad says Natick, whereas the listing on another page is coded “RP” -which means Riverpoint-, and the address is given as Main Street, “next to Iron Bridge,” Daily’s Block. Could Riverpoint have been considered part of Natick? Was this Royal the same as the Star? Different? In the same spot? Was Providence Street ever known as Main Street? Was “Iron Bridge” the bridge over Providence Street in what is now Natick or does it refer to the one on Main Street in Riverpoint? (Providence Street didn’t seen to be a street name at the time.) If it was in Riverpoint, why would someone have built a movie theatre just a few doors down from Thornton’s?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 12, 2005 at 12:53 am

Here is the residence located where the Star Theatre used to be. It is adjacent to the Natick Bridge over the Pawtuxet River and close to a waterfall. (Another R.I. theatre near a waterfall is the Assembly Theatre in Burrillville.) It is now an 8-unit apartment building. The address is 610 Providence Street. Looking at the building, one can tell by its shape and size that it was some kind of social hall at one time, and the Star Theatre may have been one of its temporary functions. Apart from the clear city directory reference, there is no other evidence I could find about the place as a cinema, no newspaper ads, nothing. But a small village cinema of this type, perhaps part-time in nature, may have relied on window flyers and leaflets to publicize shows, much as did the Myrtle Theatre in the village of Thornton in Johnston.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 8, 2005 at 12:06 am

A 1927 city directory lists four town theatres: Majestic, Gem, Palace, Thornton’s. I have found newspaper ads for all except the Majestic and for this theatre, the Star, listed in 1928.

The building that housed the Star seems still to exist. It is a residence at what is now 614 Providence Street, right next to the Pawtuxet River and the bridge which crosses it. Looking at the residence, you can see that it has an odd shape, more like a former social hall of some kind than a place originally meant to be a home. It is here that the Star Theatre must have been located, though I consider that an educated guess.

I have no idea when it opened or how long it operated. The village of Natick actually straddles the border of two municipalities, Warwick and West Warwick, on opposite sides of Providence Street. The former theatre was on the West Warwick side.

A current photo shall follow in my next post.