Columbus Theatre

270 Broadway,
Providence, RI 02903

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mp775 on May 4, 2024 at 7:24 pm

The Columbus is closing again, after a performance by comedian Jessica Kirson on June 9. The last movie was tonight, Ryuichi Sakamoto: Opus, and there are a couple more concerts coming up including a free Brown University Songwriters Showcase on Tuesday, May 7.

DavidZornig on April 13, 2019 at 10:33 am

With the closure of the Cable Car Cinema & Cafe, it appears they’ve moved their events to the Columbus Theater.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 2, 2015 at 11:30 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for this theater when it was the Uptown. It’s Card # 552. There is an exterior photo shot in April 1941. The address is 270 Broadway. Condition is Good, and it was showing MGM films. There were 866 seats on the main floor and 486 balcony seats, total: 1,352.

mp775 on October 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm

The Columbus is finally reopening with a concert by the Low Anthem on 11/17/12.

Frank C. Grace
Frank C. Grace on April 11, 2011 at 7:08 am

SAVE THE DATE: The Providence Preservation Society will announce its final list for the 2011 “Ten Most Endangered Buildings” at press conference at the Columbus Theater, May 5th @ noon.

Link: View link

Frank C. Grace
Frank C. Grace on March 31, 2011 at 11:55 am

I was granted permission to photograph the interior of The Columbus Theatre. I also got to meet Mr. Jon Berberian (owner/manager). What a wonderful man. The theatre is incredibly beautiful.

Here is a link to some of the photographs I took. There will be more to come that will be added to the link’s gallery:

View link

Frank C. Grace
Frank C. Grace on March 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Recent article in the Projo: View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 24, 2011 at 5:06 am

Yes, still closed, with a marquee announcing “Re-opening soon.”

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 24, 2011 at 4:48 am

Is this still closed?

teecee on July 31, 2010 at 7:32 am

Appears in a few scenes of Hachi (2009).

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 25, 2010 at 5:22 am

Item in Boxoffice magazine, April 3, 1961:

An unusual movie treat for the younger generation, particularly, was presented at the Uptown Theatre, where Rudolph Valentino was shown in “The Eagle,” modernized with music and sound. The movie house is located in a section where thusands of Providence residents of Italian descent have homes and business establishments.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

Item in Boxoffice magazine, October 25, 1952:
“An Italian film, ‘Al Telefono con Te’ regaled good houses at the Uptown…”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 21, 2010 at 4:38 am

From Boxoffice magazine, February 4, 1956:

“In the most extensive cooperation promotion ever seen in this area, 14 Providence and nearby houses used record-breaking newspaper advertising space in heralding the joint premiere of "The Day the World Ended” and “Phantom from 10,000 Leagues.” Virtually taking over the amusement pages of the local press for several days, the following houses united in the ad: Elmwood, Hope, Uptown, Liberty, Castle, all in this city; Community, Centredale; Strand, Pawtucket; Union, Attleboro; Hollywood, East Providence; Palace, Cranston; Community, Wakefield; Park, Auburn; Palace, Arctic and Stadium, Woonsocket. A brief checkup of local houses indicated that opening days were solid."

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 21, 2010 at 4:24 am

Item in Boxoffice magazine, June 29, 1957:
“The Uptown, located in a large Italian-populated district, offered two first-run Italian pictures, ‘Terra Straniera’ and ‘Cantate con me’.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 21, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Great pictures of the Columbus.

mp775 on August 28, 2009 at 11:56 am

Comments on the theater description: total seating is currently 1,052, and it was a porn house until 2002. I’d also argue that the Stadium should be included on any list of Rhode Island’s finest surviving historic movie houses.

mp775 on August 28, 2009 at 11:51 am

The Columbus was closed by the City of Providence on August 25 for fire code violations. Offices in the building were allowed to remain open. The owner must bring the fire suppression system up to code, repair electrical deficiencies, remove fire hazards including paint cans, reapply decorative tiles to the exterior (?), and repair at least one door. The cost of the fire suppression upgrade alone is more than $100K. The inspection was apparently the result of a complaint by a parent of a contestant in a beauty pageant held at the theater last weekend.

Providence Journal article.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm

Fifty years ago today, June 20, 1958, I saw a Mario Lanza double bill at the Uptown Theatre, which was what the Columbus was called then. The films were The Great Caruso and Because You’re Mine. Besides this fact, I noted in my diary that the theatre had a new marquee.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm

This 1931 filming of Leoncavallo’s opera I pagliacci played at the Uptown/Columbus in February 1934. It was supposedly the first opera ever filmed.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 14, 2007 at 7:20 am

Ronnie D.,
They don’t show movies regularly here but feature an assortment of events including plays, the RI International Film Festival, and currently, for three weeks, the first American showings of Michael Corrente’s Brooklyn Rules. Last summer members of the Theatre Historical Society of America visited the place and went gaga over it, as with PPAC.

RonnieD on May 14, 2007 at 6:18 am

Was only in this architecturally splendid theater once in 1966. Remember most vividly the illuminated overhanging marquee and the opulent stairway up to the balcony which had been converted into a small theater which seemed quite steeply raked. The movie was a Swedish film “Night Games” (Nattlek) directed by Mai Zetterling which featured a few familiar actors who were often part of Bergman’s repertory of players. The film was considered very provocative for its time, at least here in America, was advertised as suchâ€"an “Art” film, and in addition to being foreign, made it a viable feature for the Columbus at the time which had turned from standard feature films to borderline porn movies. Memorable night at a magnificent theater. Nice to see it is still in operation. I must re-visit it.

bcnett on February 13, 2006 at 3:41 am

The Columbus has the last original theatre organ installation in Providence. The Style D Wurlitzer (2 keyboards, 6 ranks of pipes) is not big enough to satisfactorily fill the theatre with sound.