Bomes Theatre

1017 Broad Street,
Providence, RI 02907

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Bomes Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Lockwood & Gordon Enterprises

Functions: Live Performances

Previous Names: Liberty Theatre, Art Cinema

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 401.588.0974

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Bomes Theatre

The Liberty Theatre opened on March 7, 1921 with House Peters in “The Great Redeemer” & Buster Keaton in “The Saphead”. For many decades this was a neighborhood theatre, in the Elmwood/Washington Park area of Providence. In early-1958 it became an art house renamed Art Cinema, programmed by the Lockwood Gordon chain that owned the Avon Theatre on the East Side of Providence. The first film under this new policy was Rene Clement’s “Gervaise”.

Though at first moderately successful, the theatre went into decline as programs failed to attract significant audiences to that out-of-the-way part of town. Adult films, mostly of the soft variety, failed to change things and the theatre eventually closed by the time the 1970’s arrived.

The building is still there, but the theatre has been pretty much gutted and the raked floor made level. The proscenium and projection booth were still there when last I looked. The place was a used furniture store for a while. The dilapidated marquee remains. There was talk about a neighborhood-generated restoration effort, but nothing happened for quite some time. In early-2020 following a restoration it reopened as the Bomes Theatre featuring cabaret & nightclub type shows.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 90 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

Studios sue Milton and Edward Bomes for false reporting of boxoffice receipts at their Liberty Theatre in Providence and Hollywood Theatre in East Providence.
Item in Boxoffice magazine, October 25, 1952:
View link

nritota on November 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm


I sent you a separate email on this.


rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 2, 2015 at 11:18 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Report for this theater when it was the Liberty. It’s Card # 546. There is an exterior photo taken May 1941. The address is 1017 Broad. Condition is Good. It was showing MGM films, and had 800 seats.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 9, 2020 at 4:27 am

This theatre has now re-opened as the Bomes Theatre. The name Bomes has always appeared on the front of the building and referred to the family name of the original owner. The theatre itself was from its beginnings called the Liberty before becoming the Art Cinema in 1958. Now the original owner’s family name has become the theatre name. It has been restored inside and configured for cabaret/night club type shows, with tables. This new name should be added in the listings. Web site:

tntim on October 10, 2020 at 6:45 am

It looks like Wagner Sign built a new marquee for this theatre, and for some reason, was not used. They are now trying to sell the marquee at a greatly reduced price.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 27, 2021 at 7:57 am

Once the theatre re-opened as a theatre/cabaret club, the 2020 pandemic set it, and operations were halted. I posted a couple of photos of the new spiffy interior.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 2, 2021 at 11:09 am

I walked by this theatre this morning on my way to the Rollins Gymnasium to vote in a special referenda election. I peeked through the doors into the lobby area. The place, I surmise, is anxious to resume post-pandemic business as a dinner club. Memories came back to me from when I was a young adult film buff and saw so many good films here as the Art Cinema.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 7, 2021 at 8:09 am

This theatre first opened one hundred years ago in March 1921 as the Liberty.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 7, 2021 at 10:08 am

During its early days in 1958, I remember the Art Cinema serving free espresso before (and after?) the show, provided by Ekroth Food Service of Warwick.

max on March 6, 2024 at 10:12 am

Gerald you mention the website. I notice a photo there of the Liberty circa 5/41 . image has a watermark …Historical Society of America … I cannot make out what it says before or after this. Do you know who they are or where I can view their original photo?

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