Pastime Theater

91 Bradford Street,
Bristol, RI 02809

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: MGM Theatres

Architects: Francis Chiaverini

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Bristol Twin Cinema

Nearby Theaters

Pastime Theater

The Pastime Theater began showing films in 1912. Fire destroyed the original building and a new one was built on that site that same year, 1934. The exterior remained largely unchanged, but little of the original interior had remained.

The Bristol Pastime Theater Foundation had sought funding to acquire the property, restore the exterior and renovate the interior to accomodate performing arts as well as cinema, but unfortunately, this never came to pass and the Pastime was torn down.

Contributed by Gary Watros

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 21, 2006 at 9:41 am

The Pastime Theatre has been demolished. Today I saw the fenced-in vacant lot.

BobEvans on February 26, 2007 at 3:43 pm

As a kid I would attend the ten cent matinees at the Pastime. My adopted “uncle” was the projectionist (one of two, actually). We each got a quarter for the afternoon. That bought popcorn and two candy bars or popcorn and a drink.
We’d see a cartoon, the feature, and either a serial or a Three Stooges or the like.
Good times, Good times.
The Pastime was one of the first theaters in RI to get Cinemascope.

Bob Evans

BobEvans on February 26, 2007 at 3:45 pm

When the Pastime was one theater it did hold 600 people.

Bob Evans

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 25, 2010 at 2:44 am

Item in Boxoffice magazine, June 12, 1961:

Joseph J. Modleski buys Rhode Island Theatres
WARREN. R.I. —-Joseph J. Modleski has purchased two Rhode Island Theatres, the Lyric in Warren and the Pastime in Bristol, effective as of June 1. Modleski has been operating both of the situations on lease the last two years from the estate of Lon Vail.

Prior to leasing the Lyric and Pastime, Modleski had served as manager pf the Lyric for Vail until the latter’s death. Modleski broke into motion picture exhibition in August 1920 as an usher at the Lyric Theatre. He told BOXOFFICE that he plans to make alterations at both of the theatres.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 20, 2011 at 11:02 am

In September 1922 this theatre was part of Rhode Island’s Paramount Week. Click to see the ad in Providence News, September 1, 1922, which contains a list of all participating theatres as well as the films shown that week.


DocWatson on May 28, 2013 at 7:34 am

Lostmemory’s 2007 post’s photo gave me the URL, which resulted in this:

Additionally, I was visiting home in Bristol the weekend before last, and when we were discussing the theater, my father mentioned that it had originally had a single screen. I don’t remember it being that way, though I do recall that it was obvious that it had been changed. Thus the conversion must have been between 1969 (the year we arrived in town) and the late 1970s. Another name for it was the Bristol Twin Cinema.

The land is currently occupied by an expansion of the neighboring Andrews School (to stage right in the photos), as also partly implied by the marquee in lostmemory’s first photo.

rkq on December 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I grew up in Bristol, indeed it was a single screen. As a child fond memories, a dollar would get you a ticket,a popcorn,soda and hershey bar. You knew the movie was about to start when you saw the manager go to the stage to open the curtain.In high school it was my first job. I sold concession and cleaned, at that time it was still a single screen.The concession stand and popcorn warmer was actually bought at the auction of the equipment of the Majestic in Providence.One event i’ll never forget was opening weekend, the film was “Airport”.For some reason they put up masking for a scope picture,well they did it without testing the picture size.When the film started, the picture overlaped 4 feet on the bottom. I had to go up on the stage and infront of the sold out audiance, pull the masking down.The early 70’s the theater was twined,each day cement masons came in to build a cinder block wall, and at the end of the day we came in to fill the blocks with sand,i guess to keep the sound from bleeding through.After the twining,it will be remembered as the theater with the couches.Couches were installed instead of seats.As for me, I always will remember the manager walking down front and the big red velvet curtain opening.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 18, 2015 at 11:08 am

The Theatre Historical Society has the MGM Theatre Report for the Pastime Theatre; it’s Card # 523. Address is Bradford St. There is an exterior photo dated May 1941. The marquee had an attraction board only on its left side. The condition is Good. The report says the Pastime was built in 1935, but then says it has been showing MGM films for “over 10 years”. There were 616 seats. The 1940 population of Bristol was 11,100.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 25, 2015 at 8:18 am

1941 PHOTO OF PASTIME THEATRE IN MGM REPORT Thanks to Theatre Historical Society of America.

RItlingit on February 25, 2018 at 9:23 pm

In 1987 I was hired by the owners of the cinema on Bradford Street in Bristol. At that time it had two screens. Originally I sold concessions and ushered. I then became a projectionist, cutting together the films and winding them on the platts, starting them up and taking them off to pack into the film cases. I had had experience when I lived in Alaska. I remember Empire of the Sun played that year. There were two women that owned the theater and they lived close by as roomates. They had a daughter, a preteen. I left to go to the Marriott in Newport when they opened. I know that the Theater stayed open for a few years more at least. I miss this theater as it was a neighborhood fixture and I have good memories of it. Unfortunately this link does not work anymore. Is there another link for it?

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.