United Theatre

5 Canal Street,
Westerly, RI 02891

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 37 comments

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 13, 2021 at 2:16 am

In August 2021 the United Theatre re-opened as a multi-use arts facility for film, theatre, music and more. This all follows a multi-million dollar restoration. https://www.unitedtheatre.org/

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 21, 2021 at 2:50 am

United Theatre returns to life: https://rifoundation.org/stories/a-cultural-icon-of-the-arts-comes-back-to-life

BlueboyNewton on January 14, 2018 at 11:53 pm


larryjhirsch on April 30, 2017 at 10:00 am

Does anyone remember the boxing ring on the Lower level?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 5, 2015 at 12:47 pm

The United Theatre has been reopened for quite a while now and should no longer be listed as closed. Their website: http://www.theunitedtheatre.org/

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 5, 2015 at 11:37 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for this theater, it’s Card # 560. There is an exterior photo taken May 1941. The condition is Good. The theater is over 15 years old, and shows MGM films. There were 600 orchestra seats and 375 balcony seats, total 975. The 1940 population of Westerly was 11,100.

Coate on May 23, 2013 at 7:58 am

What company operated this theater during the early 1980s?

TivFan on October 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm

The United can be seen, briefly, in “Lolita” (l962, directed by Stanley Kubrick). James Mason (as Humbert Humbert) narrates: “…I decided to spend a peaceful summer in the attractive resort town of Ramsdale, New Hampshire.” A shot of Westerly is used to represent Ramsdale. The camera shows a taxi driving down Railroad Avenue, then turning left onto Canal Street. The camera shot follows the taxi, and the United is seen on the left side of the picture. The scene is very brief, at the 12 minute-30 second mark.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 20, 2011 at 4:36 am

Last April the theatre was open to the public briefly, as reported in this article in The Westerly Sun, which includes a photo of the interior. ARTICLE

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Christmas party for 700 kids at the United Theatre in 1936.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 12, 2010 at 9:36 am

This article appeared in the Westerly Sun in 2009 and deals with a former ticket seller, Sue Quattromani Brunelle, who worked at the United from 1955-1963. It includes a view of the ticket booth. There are some interesting recollections of the theatre and its patrons.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 12, 2010 at 2:45 am

from Boxoffice Magazine, April 23, 1938:
Four Westerly and Mystic Houses Will Be Renovated
WESTERLY, R.I. – Jack Findlay, owner and operator of the Central, United and Lyric Theatres here and the Strand, Mystic, Conn., is renovating all four houses. Work on the Central, which will double its present seating capacity, is in progress. At the same time two new rectifiers and two lamps are being installed in the United and new carpet laid. The 400-seat Lyric, closed for many years, will soon begin complete renovation, while next in line the Strand will be entirely modernized. Findlay plans to operate the three Westerly houses full time first-run."

TheMovieCritic on May 25, 2010 at 8:46 am

WOW!! What a blast from the past this is! This was one of two local neighborhood theaters in the area. I remember seeing some great movies at The United in the early eighties including “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” (summer 1981 & re-release 1982), & “Return Of The Jedi” on Memorial Day 1983. Me & my brother got there an hour and half before showtime (the 7:15 pm show) to ensure good seats! Looong wait. Totally worth it. I also remember seeing “Vacation” & “Risky Business” as a rare double bill in January of 1984. The last movie I saw there was “Ghostbusters” in October of 84. Its a shame that The United hasn’t been restored yet. In this era of digital projection as well as sound it would be quite an awesome theater. It really is a shame. Also today marks the 28th anniversary of the release of “Return Of The Jedi” & the 33rd anniversary of “Star Wars”.

rivest266 on April 5, 2009 at 8:53 am

General Cinemas owned this in the 1960’s according to the IMPA

petevardy on June 30, 2007 at 12:33 pm

I remember this Theatre. Saw “Gone With The Wind” there. There were 2 Theatres in this town. The other one, the CENTRAL which we called “The Scratch House” that was infested with Rats was on the Connecticut side of the Pawcatuck river. It was located on West Broad Street between “The Greek American” and “Higgins Pharmacy"
I used to sneak in from the 2nd story of my Dad’s store, Greek American, untill I got caught by Mr Champlin, the ticket collector. he looked like George Brent,the Movie Star. It cost 10 cents for children under 12 for matinnees and 25 cents for evening or week ends. This structure was torn down around 1950 and a new building built to house Higgins Pharmacy. ” YOU CANT GO HOME"

Altman on June 20, 2007 at 12:18 pm

Project and renovation on hold by new owner as of June 2007. Will update if and when more info is available.

lynnturene on January 30, 2007 at 6:26 am

No progress as of now. It’s an eye sore and looked alot better when it had sucessful stores on each wing. Hope those stores are doing well after being kicked out in the name of “progress”. jan 30th 2007

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on October 13, 2006 at 3:35 am

Anyone know of any progress being made?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 4, 2006 at 4:31 am

Photos of the exterior and interior of the United in the process of renovation/restoration and taken by John Koulbanis, can be seen (now at least) in the Westerly Sun’s online photo page. Find event ID: 99240. The photos are available for sale.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 4, 2006 at 4:23 am

In a personal blog called GaraLog, the author Gara LaMarche recalls living in Westerly some thirty-plus years ago and wrote this about the United Theatre:

“A short walk from the station will take you past the old United Theatre, where I spent almost every Saturday afternoon at the movies — admission about 35 cents, if I recall correctly. They actually ran Flash Gordon serials before the feature. (I feel as if I should be writing this from a rocking chair.) The United marquee is still up, but the theatre has been closed for at least twenty years.”

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on July 4, 2006 at 1:49 am

I’m so glad to hear the United is finally being renovated after 20 years of decay.

lopez on July 3, 2006 at 11:54 pm

Hi All,
I am pleased to report that this theatre’s renovation is well underway. If you have any historical information, records, or just a passing interest in the future success of this theatre, please email me at your earliest convenience –

Thanks, NOVA

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 30, 2006 at 1:02 am

I have just found out that the nice marquee mentioned above is out for restoration, that the United is undergoing extensive revamping and reconstruction and will be re-opened as a three-screen art house for the area. A consultant to the project is Mr. Joe Masher, general manager of Bow-Tie Cinemas, who informed me himself. I consider this extremely good news for the Westerly/Stonington area.