Imperial Theatre

61 Broad Street,
Pawtucket, RI 02860

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previous Names: New Imperial Theatre

Nearby Theaters

The Imperial in 1924

The New Imperial Theatre was opened on February 21, 1916 with Lilian Gish in “The Birth of a Nation”. It ran its course by 1938 as evidenced by the Pawtucket/Central Falls City Directory.

I had the great fortune to talk to two brothers aged 90 and 91, that recall going to see the silent films at this theatre around the early-1920’s.

According to printed material, the Imperial Theatre had one of the largest theatre pipe organs in the country. The Hutchings organ had a console with 2 manuals and was elaborate for the theatre and soon was replaced with a traditional piano. The acoustics were said to optimize the atmosphere for the silent films and the marquee enjoyed hosting the best pictures Hollywood had to offer at that time.

Contributed by Roland Lavallee

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

Roland L.
Roland L. on June 28, 2005 at 6:03 am

Re: Music Hall. Here is what I found about the Music Hall in Providence. Each paragraph was taken from a different source and note the address change.

MUSIC HALL, 276 Westminster St., is used for concerts, lectures, fairs, etc. Its shape is rectangular, 105 feet long, 85 feet wide. A gallery runs along three sides, and an upper gallery in the rear. The hall contains a fine and powerful Hook & Hastings concert organ. Stage accommodates an orchestra of 60, and 300 singers. Seating capacity of auditorium, 2,200. The hall was enlarged, and the interior arrangement completely reversed, in 1881.

Providence is well supplied with public halls and places of amusement, some of which are ranked among the first in New England. Music Hall, No. 266 Westminster Street, is one of the largest in the city. Its dimensions are: Length, 106 feet; breadth, 85 feet; height, 52 feet; with a seating capacity of 2,250. Music Hall is especially adapted for fairs, as the main floor has an area of 6,888 square feet. A spacious gallery, extending around the four sides, furnishes seating capacity for 1,100 persons. In short, Music Hall, for concerts, fairs, lectures, school exhibitions, and first-class entertainments, possesses advantages second to no other hall in America. The Providence Opera House, Low’s Opera House, and the Academy of Music are other well-known places of amusement.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 28, 2005 at 6:28 am

Thanks. The Providence Opera House is listed, and Low’s Opera House is listed under the name Victory.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 2, 2005 at 9:11 am

Roland, you mention the Globe a few times. I posted it on Cinema Treasures along with a photo I found. It’s here.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 17, 2007 at 1:55 pm

On January December 31, 1918 a fire broke out at 11:30 PM in the furnace room after the theatre had closed. It caused considerable damage so that the theatre would not re-open for several days, according to a January 1st article in the Providence Journal.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 15, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Item in Boxoffice magazine, January 12, 1935:
“The Imperial at Pawtucket is reopening. It was last operated by Dave Perkins, now in the Publix publicity department.”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm

New organ installed in Imperial Theatre in 1921. REPORTED HERE

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Announcements of what’s playing at Pawtucket and Central Falls movie theatres in November, 1921:

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 18, 2021 at 6:38 am

Anyone know if the Imperial Theatre, before it opened in 1915, was formerly the Pawtucket Opera House? But in a June 16, 1894 ad, the Opera House Building, with its Opera House Cafe', had an address given as 14 Broad Street

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on December 10, 2022 at 6:17 am

Ads for movies being shown at the Imperial exist between 1916 and 1931 in the Pawtucket Times.

rivest266 on June 5, 2024 at 5:25 pm

Grand opening ad posed.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.