Wickford Theatre

90 Phillips Street,
North Kingstown, RI 02852

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Additional Info

Functions: Retail

Styles: Rustic

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Wickford Theatre

The Wickford Theatre was opened in 1915 and began screening movies in May 1942. It was used both for theatrical productions and for movies (newspaper advertisements from the 1940’s list movie programs). It was closed in April 1952. For decades the shingled country-barn style building has been used for other purposes and is now an antique shop.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 20, 2005 at 12:33 pm

A note on the building from Statewide Historical Preservation Report – North Kingstown, Rhode Island, 1979:

“Former Beacon Lodge Number Thirty-Eight, I.O.O.F. (1884). An impressive 2-story, end gable, shingled building built as a meeting hall for several fraternal organizations.”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 30, 2006 at 3:03 am

The 1949 Film Daily Yearbook gives the seating capacity as 265.

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on May 6, 2008 at 11:59 am

FYI.. the shop is known as the “Old Theatre Store”.

TLSLOEWS on May 12, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Good name,it does look like a barn.

royceri on June 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Does anyone know where someone might find the origial blueprints for The Old Theatre ( i.e. floor plan, seating charts, etc)?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 24, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Article in Boxoffice magazine, April 12, 1952:

Theatre in Wickford Closed by Stanzler

PROVIDENCE. —-The 37-year-old Wickford Theatre in nearby Wickford has closed for good after a two-year battle for survival. Up until two years ago, the Wickford operated seven nights a week, but since then it has operated only on weekends.

Manager Guy E. Renfro blamed television for the recent closing. but Meyer Stanzler, lessor of the Wickford in a prepared statement, denied that TV was responsible, claiming that his theatre could not stand the competition of the Quonset naval base theatre, which offers a 15-cent rate to defense workers.

Quonset authorities, however, denied that defense workers were allowed in the base theatre. They insisted that admission is granted only to servicemen. Stanzler denies that this is true and claims he can furnish proof to substantiate his claims.

[Note: “37-year old” would place the original opening of this theatre at around 1915.]

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on February 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm

You can see from http://www.sbcwickford.org/history/history.html that it appears the Wickford Theatre is the old Odd Fellows Hall while the Mathewson Hall was on Brown Street.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 10, 2023 at 10:58 am

This theatre was open and showing movies between May 1942 and April 1952, almost exactly ten years.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 10, 2023 at 11:12 am

This former theatre is located not far from the Wickford Junction station of the MBTA commuter rail line.

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