City shutters Columbus Theatre for code violations

posted by mp775 on September 4, 2009 at 7:50 am

PROVIDENCE, RI — The Columbus Theatre was shut down suddenly by the City of Providence on Tuesday, August 25 due to code violations uncovered by a deputy fire marshal. The inspection was triggered by a complaint from a parent of a contestant in a beauty pageant held at the theater the preceding weekend. Other businesses in the building have been allowed to remain open.

Among the violations cited were a fire suppression system that does not meet the current code, electrical deficiencies, storage of paint cans and “other items” in the basement, at least one broken door, and missing exterior decorative tiles. The theater is still waiting for the full list of violations. The cost of the fire suppression system alone is estimated at more than $100,000. As a result of the closure, at least four events, including two film festivals, have been forced to find alternate venues.

For the complete story, read The Providence Journal, 8/28/09.

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Comments (4)

MPol on September 5, 2009 at 5:51 pm

That’s unfortunate, especially since the Columbus Theatre looks like a very beautiful theatre, with lots of potential. Here’s hoping that the problems get fixed soon so that the Theatre doesn’t remain shuttered for TOO long.

Roloff on September 7, 2009 at 3:10 am

Other theaters that would like to hold Beauty Pageants, be warned! Haven’t these people seen LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE?
So which old theater has a clean basement? Sheesh.. okay, so it’s paint..

DavidZornig on September 7, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Shouldn’t there have been annual city inspections that would have caught that stuff much earlier? Why did it take a parent’s complaint, no doubt a connected one, for the city to step in?
Ironic that it survived as an X-Rated house for so long, and then gets shut down when it’s finally booking the types of things we’d want all older theatres to host, in order to survive.
Sounds like some random CYA on that city’s part. Fire system not up to code? You’d think the city would have been on top of that way earlier, like after The Station night club fire. Chicago reinspected all it’s bars immediately after it’s own E2 tragedy.

deleted user
[Deleted] on September 9, 2009 at 11:02 am

The Wurlitzer organ in the Columbus is an original installation. I hope it doesn’t become a casualty in the theater’s current situation.

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