Garden City Cinema

151 Sockanosset Cross Road,
Cranston, RI 02920

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marcberm on August 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm

The former marquee for the theater, by the intersection of New London Ave and Sockanosset Crossroad was later repurposed and refurbished for use as a marquee for Garden City Center itself.

ejones880 on July 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I miss the General Cinemas Theme Song

SCARSRayRay on June 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm

I met Stephen King and George Romero at a screening of Creepshow there in 1982. My uncle Owen Haskell took me to these things on a regular basis and made me the movie buff I am today! Thank god for this page!!!!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 24, 2010 at 5:04 pm

The theatre opened on December 22, 1967.

frankd on July 13, 2007 at 10:52 am

I worked at Garden City Cinema from August 1984 until it closed in April of 1986. General Cinema was losing to Showcase at the time, and all of the “blockbusters” used to go to Showcase. In the final year, attendance was extremely poor (mostly less than 5 patrons on weeknights) and sometimes less than 50 per showing on weekends. Talk was that the theater would become second-run, but it was decided just to close. The theater and neighboring bowling alley were destroyed, and Shaw’s and a mini stripmall were erected. The Shaw’s was demolished in 2007, and a Whole Foods was built on the site.

I do have a lot of memories of the Cinema. My e-mail is “”. I would love to hear from anyone interested, especially Gerald A. DeLuca! Please put “Garden City Cinema” in the subject line so I don’t delete is as spam!

Frank DeAngelis

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 27, 2006 at 8:11 am

Yes, two bowling-alley style auditoriums resulted. Puny screens compared to the original. Demolished. Now a Shaw’s Market.

hardbop on April 27, 2006 at 7:14 am

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.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 12, 2005 at 7:11 pm

Here is a newspaper ad for the opening day of the Garden City Cinema on December 22, 1967. It includes a small photo of the theatre front.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 12, 2005 at 7:03 pm

The theatre was twinned in the fall of 1972 with auditoriums seating about 500 each.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 11, 2005 at 4:34 am

Amusingly enough, the Cranston Public Library, directly across from where the Garden City Cinema used to be, has a video copy of Rachel, Rachel in its collection.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 11, 2005 at 3:09 am

‘Rachel, Rachel’ Sparks Call to Revoke License
The Providence Journal Bulletin reported on September 19, 1968 that attempts were made to revoke the theatre license of the Graden City Cinema. John M. Voccola, a Republican representing the Fourth Ward, released a letter to councilman Norman H. Olson, chairman of the council’s safety services and license committee, demanding that owners of the theater be called before the committee “to show cause why the license whould not be revoked.”

At issue was the film Rachel, Rachel. The movie, directed by Paul Newman and starring his wife Joanne Woodward, dealt with the lesbian love relationship of a spinster schoolteacher.

In his letter, Mr. Voccola said the the theatre had previously indicated at the time they applied for a license that they would not show “objectionanble” films and “I emphasized the fact that I would not approve this license if any obscene or undesirable movies were shown.”

At the time Rachel, Rachel was playing at several area theatres, had received numerous favorable reviews form critics. A Journal film critic had described the movie as “a masterpiece of sensitive characterization…brilliantly acted and directed, of a state of loneliness and isolation.”

brianmichela on May 14, 2005 at 10:04 am

The Garden City Cinema opened for business on Friday, December 22, 1967. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony, and refreshments were served, too. The feature presentation was Disney’s “The Jungle Book.”

brianmichela on April 11, 2005 at 5:32 pm

I was scared, too, watching “The Haunting” with Julie Harris when it first premiered in the sixties, but I don’t remember which theater it played.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 11, 2005 at 5:25 pm

I don’t remember being that scared, though I kind of liked it. I wrote a review for The Echo.

brianmichela on April 11, 2005 at 5:17 pm

My most memorable evening at the Garden City Cinema was for a sneak preview of “The Omen.” Well, I hardly ever went to sneak previews, but this one starred Lee Remick, whom I liked, and I suspected that it would be a supernatural thriller. It certainly was. During one crucial scene, when everyone jumped, and some even screamed, there was dead silence until someone sighed and said “Jesus Christ!” The audience broke into a nervous laugh, and then resumed watching the movie. When it ended, as I was walking up the aisle to leave, I bumped into my cousin and his wife. They were as frightened as I was. We headed for the lobby where we were asked to fill out a survey. But, we were too shaken to do so.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 10, 2005 at 4:18 pm

I remember seeing “The Reivers” and “A Man Called Horse” when it was a spacious single-screener.

brianmichela on April 10, 2005 at 1:13 pm

I went to the Garden City Cinema mostly when it was a single screen theater. It showed mainstream and family films. One exception. “Something For Everyone” was a dark comedy starring Angela Lansbury, light years before her widespread popularity from television. The movie ad enticed me to go on opening night, and I enjoyed it tremendously. It played a short run there, and then vanished from circulation.

hardbop on March 31, 2005 at 3:01 pm

Yes, I remember the Garden City Cinema so well. It was huge. I remember going to see all those Disney Films there, including the Love Bug!

The last time I was there was in the early eighties when I caught “The Flamingo Kid” during an afternoon screening. I remember the manager coming up to me and saying that “I may get a private screening” because I was the sole person there is this long auditorium. Then a few others wandered in.

It was sad to see this go. The Park Cinema, up the street, is also gone.

tlccar1 on May 21, 2004 at 9:21 am

Wow! Thanks for that great step back in time – hearing that was like being 13 again, waiting for ET to start in that long, dark cinema – eating my popcorn and just being a kid – THANKS!!!

Fentum1960 on May 17, 2004 at 6:42 pm

I certainly do, and just found the soundtrack for that clip:

tlccar1 on April 14, 2004 at 11:59 pm

I loved going to that cinema. I remember all of the Disney Classics that I saw there as a kid growing up – Herbie the Love Bug, Pete’s Dragon, to name a few, and ET – WOW that was awesome!! I saw Star Wars there five times!! It really was a sad day when they demolished that cinema. P.S. Does anyone out there remember the General Cinema logo and projector clip they played before previews and feature presentations? It went something like…..tss tss tss tss tss tss tss and spun around and then the words came out of the projector – FEATURE PRESENTATION I LOVED THAT!! Anyone else remembers it, let me know!!!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 18, 2004 at 10:02 am

When E.T. played here, day/dating in its initial run with other area theatres, it was an enormous success, perhaps more than any other movie in the theatre’s not-very-long history. When the theatre was twinned by erecting a wall from rear to front, the two resulting spaces were long and narrow bowling-alley auditoriums, and CinemaScope films were no longer well-served as they had been in the single-screen years.