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I just saw what I thought looked like and X rating (turned out to be an X if it is an Warhol film) and made an assumption. That is pretty adventurous booking for a downtown Providence theatre.
I too remember this drive-in. I moved to NYC in March ‘82 and when I would make frequent treks back to New England you could see this drive-in from either the Bruckner or Route 95. I am surprised that a drive-in theatre in the Bronx lasted as late as '83.
I don’t want to stray from the topic of this thread too much, but I wonder why the Warwick Musical Theatre went out of business. I thought it had done well.
People might not remember this, but across the parking lot from the old Warwick Mall Cinema was a dinner theatre that went out of business in the 70s. The building is still there as far as I know, but now it is offices for a health insurance company.
If I am reading that Esquire Theatre Ad right, that is quite the double bill for the Paris Cinema in Providence. “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” on one screen with what looks like a porno film, “Lonesome Cowboys” on the other.
You’ve got the highbrows in one theatre and the raincoat brigade going into the other. Strange bedfellows.
What are some of the bookings in this theatre? Are the runs open-ended?
I seem to remember coming home to R.I. & my brother would get the shedules and tape them to the refridgerator door and it seemed they would bring in art films and change the films every couple of days. Films wouldn’t even run for a week.
With all the art films that are released and the fact that only two or three theatres showing art films in Rhode Island you can’t say the pickings are slim.
How is this theatre doing? I know Providence has experienced a renaissance since I moved from the state in ‘80. I remember going to the Strand back in the late 60s when I was a kid and there literally was a riot (they ransacked the box office) and we were robbed. Providence was not a nice place back then. There wasn’t much excuse to go downtown, other than to patronize Lupo’s.
I’ve been buy the mall many times after de-training from New York, but have never stepped foot in the mall.
Are there security issues in this theatre? Do folks from the ‘burbs come in?
One of the things about drive-ins is that there was per car pricing. Unlike going into a movie theatre where each invidual paid, you paid by the car for the drive-in. It was a pretty good bargain.
I didn’t realize it was twinned as early as ‘72, but I seem to remember going here when it was a mammoth single-screen theatre so it must have been before that.
What I remember is that when it was twinned, it was a weird configuation. If memory serves me correctly they essentially cut the theatre in half, running a wall down the middle of the theatre, putting two screens up where the single-screen was. Someone likened watching a film in the twinned Garden City Cinema to being in a wind tunnel.
This theatre must have booked a lot of B movies back in the day because in addition to “Billy Jack” & “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” I caught “Walking Tall” here.
When I lived in Warwick there was a Benny’s in the plaza where the Meadowbrook was located. Across the street were woods. In the eighties or nineties they built a huge Stop & Shop and a plaza across the street. When Star Market went bust, Benny’s moved to where the Stop & Shop was in Wild’s Corner on West Shore Road about a mile away. Stop & Shop, needing an even bigger store, then knocked down the plaza where Benny’s & the Meadowbrook was and literally moved across the street. I don’t know what replaced the Stop & Shop.
Also, in the days before Blockbuster, there was a great local owner operated and run video store in the plaza where the Meadowbrook was located. Oddly, the video store was closed on Sundays of all days. They had a good selection of classic titles if memory serves me correctly, plus knowledgeable staff.
This is neither here nor there, but actor James Woods is from Warwick (Pilgrim High School I think) and his brother ran a video store in Warwick in the eighties.
The only time I was here, alas, was not to see a film, but to see a concert. It must have been 1974 because my friend had literally gotten his driver’s license that day and we drove to the concert. The band was Aerosmith, right before its breakthrough. I think that was probably the last time Aerosmith played at this venue; soon they were playing at the Civic Center.
Damn. Do these threads bring back memories as I grew up in Warwick and moved in 1980. The last time I went to the Warwick Cinema must have been my freshman year in college (1976), Christmas break, because I remember bringing a date to see I believe a “Dirty Harry” movie there.
I remember that plaza where the Warwick Cinema was located well. There was a W.T. Grant’s in the same shopping plaza as the cinema and that is a long defunct chain. Aldrich Jr. High, if memory serves me correctly, is across the street.
And I remember the Warwick Musical Theatre well. I think the guy who ran it had the mellifluous name of Buster Bonoff. And he might have been bald like Yul Brynner, but I may be imagining that. I never went to a show at the WMT, but did go to a friend’s high school graduation held there in 1977. That was the only time I was in the building.
I remember right next to the theatre was a restaurant on the corner of Bald Hill Road and Route 2 (which I believe is the road the WMT was on) that they moved; they moved the whole building. And WMT is/was right around the corner from “The Station” that nightclub that burned and so many lives were lost.
I was only here once. It must have been on a visit back to RI. The film was ABOUT LAST NIGHT, the film versio of David Mamet’s play, SEXUAL PERVERSITY IN CHICAGO. Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Jim Belushi & Elizabeth Perkins were in the film. Vincent Canby in “The Times” panned the film, but I think it is a real sleeper.
What is odd is why this theatre has to be a second run art house considering the vast amount of features that are dumped into theatres each week. In NYC we get a double-digit number of new films opening each week. This week, according to today’s Voice, 15 films are opening this week. I can’t imagine that the bulk of these films that open in NYC even make it to Rhode Island. It seems with some intelligent programming there is a market niche to be exploited.
Last film I caught here was WAR OF THE ROSES in the late 80s.
I’ve had good luck when I’ve complained to theatres. You complain to corporate headquarters and then they refer the complaint back to the individual theatre manager. That embarrasses the heck out of the theatre manager when corporate knows they did something shoddy.
I must say I’ve been to the “old” Warwick Showcase many times (the last time to see Spielberg’s CATCH ME IF YOU CAN) but haven’t been to the new Showcase at the Warwick Mall. I did go to the old National General theatre many, many times over the years. I think that is where I caught those Hitchcock films that were revived in the mid 1980s.
I remember seeing “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” here when I was in high school.
It is nice to read that the Avon is still going strong. It is interesting that the “Poseidon Adventure” played here. Coincidentally, it played in New York last night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s revival screen. I actually saw PA on first run, but I believe it was at a RI (or nearby Massachusetts drive-in).
The only other time I went to the Avon, as best I can recall, besides the Woody Allen film(s) I mentioned above, I caught THE PIANO on first run here back in the early-to-mid 1990s.
There’s a nice shot of this theatre in some archival footage used at the beginning of “The Notorious Bettie Page” currently in theatres.
I was at the Thalia yesterday for STEAMBOAT BILL JR. and I must say that I feel that since the Thalia was renovated & reopened the revival has been half-assed. I saw only three films here in ‘05 and one of them was projected video (PIXOTE). My visit yesterday at a lightly attended 4:30 screening was my first in '06.
One other use for the Thalia, which I don’t think anyone mentioned, was that in the late 90’s someone was running the theatre and using it as a showplace for films that didn’t have distributors. I caught only one film in that series in November ‘98 called CROSSING FIELDS.
I actually was sent six passes by Landmark (Damien) so it paid off. At $10.75 a movie that is a nice perk.
One quibble, Landmark certainly doesn’t empower its employees to make decisions. I used two this weekend, one Saturday and the other Sunday. I get there Saturday and the ticket taker/cashier/snack bar attendant (they multi-task at Landmark I guess) had “to ask her manager” before she could accept the pass.“ Sunday, the ticket taker/cashier/snack bar attendant said she "had to ask the manager” about my pass and then I had to sign my name to a form before I got my ticket. I felt like a criminal.
Over on the Tribeca Screening Room there is a mention that there was some friction between the Regal BPC folks and the Tribeca FF and that is why the Tribeca FF festival is, as far as I can tell, only using two screens this year. Anyone know the story.
I find it odd that a fest who raison d'etre, or one of its raison d'etres, is to get people downtown post 9-11. The “Tribeca Fest” is now moved out of Tribeca and is screening films in the Tribeca FF in the East Village (Loew’s/AMC’s E. Village ‘plex), midtown (Loew’s/AMC’s W. 34th St. 'plex) and the Westside (Loew’s Lincoln Square 'plex).
And I just read on the Ziegfeld listing that the opening film at the fest — FLIGHT 99 — premiered at the Ziegfeld, in midtown no where near Tribeca.
It kind of defeats the purpose of the fest to expand above Canal Street. It seems the original purpose of the fest has gone by the boards and the fest organizers are playing lip service to the downtown community.
The only time I go downtown — below Canal — is for this fest. This year my visits will be much fewer and far between because I have screenings in the three Loew’s/AMC ‘plex.
Thanx. I did see the article. I hope this theatre makes it. There aren’t too many single-screen theatres left in Manhattan and this theatre has a certain charm.
Fabiano Canosa is still around. He’s involved with the Thalia/Symphony Space theatre and teaches a course/screens a film every Saturday there. I think he also programs the Thalia/Symphony Space theatre as well. Fabiano was also affiliated with the Public Theatre and, briefly, with Anthology Film Archives.
I was watching a video of a film called “Thursday’s Child” this weekend. It was made in the early-to-mid 1970s and I’m not sure if it was a made-for-tv film or if it had a theatrical release. (There is no listing in the Maltin Guide for the film).
In any event, much of the film was shot on location in NYC and there is one scene set in front of the Cameo Theatre. I had never heard of the cameo and had no idea where it was when I caught it in the film.
NYC has changed quite a bit in the last 30 plus years.
I believe this theatre closed in ‘89 and there was a hiatus of about a year before the new Film Forum opened on Houston Street.
I don’t remember going to the Film Forum all that often in eighties, though I wasn’t as into film back then. I remember the first time I went there I caught RED RIVER for the very first time. I also remember for some reason they revived ALIEN. I remember going to a late screening on a Sunday night and it was raining out. It was not a well attended screening and I had the **** scared out of me.
I also remember seeing a terrific indie film here called BLESS THEIR LITTLE HEARTS, which I caught again recently at BAM. It held up very well.
And I can remember one night trying to get into CHINATOWN and it sold out.
Does anyone remember what the booking policy of the FF was like in the eighties here? I wonder why I didn’t go more often? Was it similar to the new Film Forum, which does have an additional screen.
I wonder if the Film Forum is having money troubles. As a member I received a fundraising letter this week where the FF folks were lamenting the fact that many of the films they screen are not well attended.
I was down there the other night to see the only film in the Don Siegel retro I wanted to see and they are running a promotion where if you renew your membership in April or buy a membership you get a free soda and popcorn.
And one way I judge crowds at the FF is the number of “Village Voice” copies that remain. When the FF is well attended, you can’t find a “Voice.” But late Tuesday afternoon, the day the “Voice” comes out, it looked like no one took a Voice from the previous week so many remained.
I wonder how the Seigel retro drew? I caught all the films in a MoMA Siegel retro back in the 1990s' so I skipped it.