Star Theatre

537 Hope Street,
Bristol, RI 02809

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This long-gone and forgotten theatre in the center of Bristol, not far from the later Pastime Theatre on Bradford Street, was next to Rogers Free Library on Hope Street and existed in the pre-World War I era and perhaps later. A picture of it appears on an early postcard that shows it with the library. More information about the history of this place would be appreciated.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 16, 2006 at 1:51 am

The address for the Star Theatre was 537 Hope Street, according to a 1922 directory. How long the theatre existed in the 1920s is unclear. How long it co-existed with the Pastime Theatre is unclear as well.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 20, 2006 at 7:38 am

Here is a postcard image of the Rogers Free Library and the Star Theatre next to it, circa 1916. The Star was in the red brick building. It’s entrance is to the left and the “Star” sign can be faintly made out. The theatre auditorium may have occupied an upper floor.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 21, 2006 at 11:39 am

The building which housed the Star Theatre many decades ago has been demolished just this past week. I was told that it had been a furniture store. Around the corner on Bradford Street the Pastime Theatre is history. It too has been recently demolished.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 12, 2007 at 12:25 pm

In this photo from around the 1920s the Star Theatre entrance can be clearly seen to the right of picture center. The entrance must have led to a staircase that went to an upper level where the theatre auditorium itself was located.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 7, 2011 at 5:51 am

Red Cross Christmas drive in Bristol begins. Col. John E. Bailey addressed audience at the Star Theatre in 1918:

DocWatson on May 28, 2013 at 9:50 am

I recall the furniture store Mr. DeLuca mentions, though I never went inside. The building was demolished to make way for a much needed expansion of the library, which had been both cramped and needing repairs for decades. I was visiting home in Bristol the weekend before last, and checked out the new library for the first time—compare the main photo on the History page linked below (the “old” post-1957 library) with the ones (linked) above and the ones in the photo gallery and the library’s Web site banner photo.

newenglander02809 on June 16, 2013 at 12:33 pm

How can I find out the history of this theatre? I am doing some research on the 4th of July parade of 1913, and according to a newspaper article, the Star Theatre filmed the parade that year (500 feet of film) and was planning on showing it later. Who owned the theatre and where would the films have gone?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm

newenglander, That’s a difficult task. If there is a Bristol “historical society”, you might want to start with them. If the film footage was donated to someone, it MAY have wound up in the archives of the RI Historical Society in Providence. They have an archive of film shot in RI.

DocWatson on June 24, 2013 at 3:47 am

There is a historical society, in the old town jail, a block and half from the Star Theatre’s site.

Bristol Historical & Preservation Society

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