Elmwood Theatre

786 Elmwood Avenue,
Providence, RI 02907

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Additional Info

Firms: William Nelson Jacobs Associates

Functions: Church

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News About This Theater

Elmwood Theatre

The Elmwood Theatre was opened on February 1, 1950 with Jeanne Crain in “Pinky” & Gloria Henry in “Law of the Barbary Coast”. Like so many other old theatres in urban areas, is now used as a church. The marquee has been removed in favor of an awning. However, the old frames for the posters advertising the movies are still there. Only now they are filled with religious posters. The box office can still be seen as well.

Contributed by Roger Katz

Recent comments (view all 43 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 21, 2010 at 7:36 am

From Boxoffice magazine, February 4, 1956:

“In the most extensive cooperation promotion ever seen in this area, 14 Providence and nearby houses used record-breaking newspaper advertising space in heralding the joint premiere of "The Day the World Ended” and “Phantom from 10,000 Leagues.” Virtually taking over the amusement pages of the local press for several days, the following houses united in the ad: Elmwood, Hope, Uptown, Liberty, Castle, all in this city; Community, Centredale; Strand, Pawtucket; Union, Attleboro; Hollywood, East Providence; Palace, Cranston; Community, Wakefield; Park, Auburn; Palace, Arctic and Stadium, Woonsocket. A brief checkup of local houses indicated that opening days were solid."

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 24, 2010 at 5:58 am

“The Elmwood Theatre, Providence, has just completed the successful engagement of "Around the World in 80 Days” for an all-time Providence boxoffice record. In 29 weeks the Michael Todd film took in $152,000.“
(Item in Boxoffice magazine, May 12, 1958)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Gerald,Thanks for those great pictures from the Glory years.1986 pictures are heartbreaking.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 2, 2015 at 2:24 pm

The Theatre Historical Society has the MGM Theatre Report for the Elmwood – it’s Card # 542. Unfortunately, no one filled out the form. There is an undated photo of the facade. Movie posted is Gregory Peck in “Twelve O'clock High”, plus a Joe Palooka film.

The_Brit on April 20, 2016 at 12:49 pm

I lived on the other side of the tracks from the Elmwood As a young I frequented the theatre when it was traditional. The admission fee for a person under age 12 was 25 cents. I harbor many fond memories of those days. Then, motivated by Cinerama. Then, inspired by a entrepreneur name Mike Todd, a 70mm format named Todd AO surfaced. The theatre converted to it 100% and long rung films would run for no less than a year. I recall viewing Oklahoma and The sound of Music there. Mike Todd was an unusual person that proclaimed that he would live to be 100. Several weeks or months later, he died in a plane crash. Sad to look back at the theatre and what has become of Elmwood Avenue. In its long days, it as a fantastic place to go both during the traditional days and the Todd AO era.

dickneeds111 on November 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Didn’t Sound Of Music play in Warwick on its original long run and not at the Elmwood?

mp775 on August 22, 2019 at 3:30 pm

1959 photo, showing Diary of Anne Frank

JMLJ on September 26, 2021 at 3:15 pm

@rudi yes! As well as the vomit bags for Mark of the Devil.

MSC77 on April 28, 2023 at 7:15 pm

A (work-in-progress) chronology of Providence’s 70mm presentations has been published. The Elmwood gets several mentions in the article.

max on March 6, 2024 at 2:37 pm

I’ve seen several films at the Elmwood. This would have been in the 60s. It was a pleasant community cinema.

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