Bomes Theatre

1017 Broad Street,
Providence, RI 02907

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Bomes Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Lockwood & Gordon Enterprises

Functions: Live Performances

Previous Names: Liberty Theatre, Art Cinema

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 401.588.0974

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Bomes Theatre

The Liberty Theatre opened on March 7, 1921 with House Peters in “The Great Redeemer” & Buster Keaton in “The Saphead”. For many decades this was a neighborhood theatre, in the Elmwood/Washington Park area of Providence. In early-1958 it became an art house renamed Art Cinema, programmed by the Lockwood Gordon chain that owned the Avon Theatre on the East Side of Providence. The first film under this new policy was Rene Clement’s “Gervaise”.

Though at first moderately successful, the theatre went into decline as programs failed to attract significant audiences to that out-of-the-way part of town. Adult films, mostly of the soft variety, failed to change things and the theatre eventually closed by the time the 1970’s arrived.

The building is still there, but the theatre has been pretty much gutted and the raked floor made level. The proscenium and projection booth were still there when last I looked. The place was a used furniture store for a while. The dilapidated marquee remains. There was talk about a neighborhood-generated restoration effort, but nothing happened for quite some time. In early-2020 following a restoration it reopened as the Bomes Theatre featuring cabaret & nightclub type shows.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 89 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Item in Boxoffice magazine, February 17, 1958, relating to the upcoming run of The Miracle of Marcelino at this theatre:

Anticipating the forthcoming screening of “The Miracle of Marcelino,” Mrs. Ann Cohen, publicity director of the Art Cinema, has invited all of the Religious throughout the Providence diocese, pastors, priests, nuns, and sisters, to a special private screening. Those required to remain on duty while others attend have been invited to see the picture free during the run. Furthermore, it is the policy of Rhode Island’s newest art house to pass in members of the clergy of all denominations at all times. To tie in with the presentation of “The Miracle of Marcelino,” Mrs. Cohen is arranging for a special display of art in the lobby, though the courtesy of Salve Regina College, Newport. A special party for children from Catholic institutions is also being arranged. The youngsters will have the theatre to themselves and candy, ice cream and cakes will be served. Other facets of Mrs. Cohen’s extensive publicity campaign include special advertising in the Visitor, weekly diocesan newspaper, news breaks and printed invitations to church and state dignitaries.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Studios sue Milton and Edward Bomes for false reporting of boxoffice receipts at their Liberty Theatre in Providence and Hollywood Theatre in East Providence.
Item in Boxoffice magazine, October 25, 1952:
View link

nritota on November 21, 2012 at 12:35 am


I sent you a separate email on this.


rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 2, 2015 at 7:18 pm

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Report for this theater when it was the Liberty. It’s Card # 546. There is an exterior photo taken May 1941. The address is 1017 Broad. Condition is Good. It was showing MGM films, and had 800 seats.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 9, 2020 at 12:27 pm

This theatre has now re-opened as the Bomes Theatre. The name Bomes has always appeared on the front of the building and referred to the family name of the original owner. The theatre itself was from its beginnings called the Liberty before becoming the Art Cinema in 1958. Now the original owner’s family name has become the theatre name. It has been restored inside and configured for cabaret/night club type shows, with tables. This new name should be added in the listings. Web site:

tntim on October 10, 2020 at 2:45 pm

It looks like Wagner Sign built a new marquee for this theatre, and for some reason, was not used. They are now trying to sell the marquee at a greatly reduced price.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 27, 2021 at 3:57 pm

Once the theatre re-opened as a theatre/cabaret club, the 2020 pandemic set it, and operations were halted. I posted a couple of photos of the new spiffy interior.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 2, 2021 at 7:09 pm

I walked by this theatre this morning on my way to the Rollins Gymnasium to vote in a special referenda election. I peeked through the doors into the lobby area. The place, I surmise, is anxious to resume post-pandemic business as a dinner club. Memories came back to me from when I was a young adult film buff and saw so many good films here as the Art Cinema.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 7, 2021 at 4:09 pm

This theatre first opened one hundred years ago in March 1921 as the Liberty.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 7, 2021 at 6:08 pm

During its early days in 1958, I remember the Art Cinema serving free espresso before (and after?) the show, provided by Ekroth Food Service of Warwick.

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