Lyric Theatre

5 Miller Street,
Warren, RI 02885

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Showing 21 comments

robjen326 on October 23, 2017 at 7:53 am

I remember Joe as being pretty strict about no talking during movies. He would patrol the aisles looking for chatting.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 20, 2011 at 11:08 am

In September 1922 this theatre was part of Rhode Island’s Paramount Week. Click to see the ad in Providence News, September 1, 1922, which contains a list of all participating theatres as well as the films shown that week.


Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 15, 2011 at 4:49 am

In September 1926, this theatre was part of the eleven-theatre Celebrate Paramount Week.
Newspaper ad.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 25, 2010 at 2:43 am

Item in Boxoffice magazine, June 12, 1961:

Joseph J. Modleski buys Rhode Island Theatres
WARREN. R.I. —-Joseph J. Modleski has purchased two Rhode Island Theatres, the Lyric in Warren and the Pastime in Bristol, effective as of June 1. Modleski has been operating both of the situations on lease the last two years from the estate of Lon Vail.

Prior to leasing the Lyric and Pastime, Modleski had served as manager pf the Lyric for Vail until the latter’s death. Modleski broke into motion picture exhibition in August 1920 as an usher at the Lyric Theatre. He told BOXOFFICE that he plans to make alterations at both of the theatres.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on June 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Frankie and Johnny was released to the US on March 31, 1966.

In Harm’s Way on April 6th, 1965.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 8, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I think “IN HARM’S WAY” came out in 1965.Don’t know about “FRANKIE and JOHNNY”.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 8, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Roz in Florida,
With your reference to the posters of In Harm’s Way and Frankie and Johnny, the theatre must have closed in or around 1966.

RozinFlorida on November 11, 2009 at 10:12 am

I also remember the very peculiar odor in the ladies room. You had to be desperate to use that horrible toilet. I remember the big mirror over the grungy sink, too.

RozinFlorida on November 11, 2009 at 10:09 am

My brother dreamed of being the kid behind the curtain when he grew up. The kid would peep out at the projection booth, then open the curtain, just before showtime. IN those day,s you got a newsreel, cartoons, a serial (guy always falling out fo a plane and next week, into a hayloft), the feature, and would finish up with a 3 Stooges episode. You got your money’s worth then.

The theater had two aisles, hence two small side sections. My mother wouldn’t allow us to sit anywhere but in that side section AND in the row which led to the side door (fires).

RozinFlorida on November 2, 2009 at 8:24 am

The ticket lady was Emily Janetto – I knew her well. In the fifties, seats were 35 cents downstairs,and Les Miserables sat in the balcony on hard seats for aquarter and rained Good and Plenty candy down on those below. Theatre was owned by Lon Vail in those days.

The last movie bills placed outside were for ‘In Harm’s WAy’ and an Elvis film called ‘Frankie and Johnny’ – so that dates its closing. The posters turned to shreds but remained there for months.
Monster movies were on Sunday afternoons. The curtain man was Curly Costa.

My mother remembered going there for silents and remembered the organist.

dougvbrown on October 19, 2007 at 7:37 pm

John Janetto’s aunt played that Lyric theater organ in the 1930’s Warren,RI
John , now(2007) the St,Mary’s cemetery caretaker may have more details,also, on the Lyric theater organ .John’s father Fred Janetto was the bugle insrructor for the Warren Indian Band # 1 -1940’s Warren,RI but that is another story .Stories and pictures available on the Loew’s State
Wurli Boston Mass Av and the Providence Loew’s State Wurli -contact me for details- dougvbrown files

BobEvans on October 19, 2007 at 6:08 pm

The organ was not in the theater for long. I believe that it was taken out because of the depression. Contact me for details, Lost Memory.

BobEvans on January 28, 2007 at 4:41 pm

I have many memories of the Lyric. Although I lived in Bristol I often went to this theater. My dad also worked on the projection equipment. The projectionist was Vincent “Red” Madeno who alternated between the Lyric and Pastime in Bristol.
The Lyric had a small balcony making is more deluxe than the cement block Pastime in Bristol. It also had a small Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ in the twenties played by Warrenite Ida Jannitto.
In the eighties I examined the theater and found the old hammered tin procenium arch hidden by suspended ceiling tiles. It was a pretty little house.
Thank goodness at least the outside was somewhat preserved.

Bob Evans

dougvbrown on September 24, 2006 at 6:30 am


Thanks to Gerry A. DeLuca for making available ,the many ,old movie
theatre’s-photos/histories and in particular the Warren,RI Lyric Theatre
circa 1935. I just recently forwarded this pic to my brother
Walter E Brown Jr in California ( a true Warrenite born in a house
on So. Water Street in Sep-1924 ) WEBJR emailed back to brother doug…in part

……“My main memory was find two bottles to return to get 10 cents so I could go to the Saturday matinee – and the times that they took a can of Campbells soup for the ticket.
It’s kind of fun to turn the clock back – be sure and thank whoever for the old photo.”……..webrownjr -060923

So, thanks Gerry (G.A.DeLuca) for the photo(s) and the walking tour of
downtown Providence,RI theatre district

dougvbrown on June 21, 2006 at 11:16 am

060622- dougvbrown-files

Thanks Gerry Thats the LYRIC bldg thatI remember….the car there
is a 1935 Ford sedan and imbedded in the street a little forward of
that car(not shown) was a rubber cover strip traffic light trip,
that we would jump on to get Green, but to no avail………
To the left, beyond the iron railing fence and Elm tree is the
First Baptist Church,where my brother was married in 1948 this corner
lot(Main/Miller Sts) was the original location of Rhode Island College
that removed to Providence (pre 1775)and became BROWN UNIVERSITY with
a grant of money from the estate of Nicholas Brown (1790c)

The theater main entrance doors that opened outward were on each side of the
centered ticket booth right at the sidewalk—– I remember standing on
my tip toes, giving the lady my quarter ,and she with one hand slid the
ticket out and the other hand slid my dime change we always entered
the right hand door….a 10ft inner double door..
the ticket taker who tore your ticket in half, before you had a
chance to read it……..
Outside Front right side 1st floor the window is frosted glass protected
with fancy iron grille the men’s room the other side front was Ladies Room
Looking close there is a narrow alley between the theater and bldg on the
corner Miller/Main Sts this alley space at the top is covered with a
sign that says THEATRE directly under the sign is open access to
alley for the Theater EXIT doors (2 doubledoors) which on hot summer nights
were left open for cooling and I sneaked in once……
This adjoining bldg had theater Billboards -Coming Attractions
at least 20 ft + on the Miller St wall toward Main St
More on LYRIC later-

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 21, 2006 at 5:40 am

Here is a nice old photo of the Lyric in Warren with a view of Miller Street, possibly from the 1930s.

dougvbrown on June 21, 2006 at 5:21 am

060621- dougvbrown files-

The LYRIC was my hometown theater that I attended (Sat matinee ) 1933-thru-1943—-
I grew up with the movies of Mickey Rooney(Andy Hardy)-Gene Autry. -Lone Ranger- and Peter Lorre
as “Mr Moto” which we called the cliff hanger gang….

The theater owner, Alonzo “LON” VAIL and his at home & theater assistant known as “CURLEY,they lived next house to us on So. Water St……Sat matinee started at 2:30 pm but only after "Curley” stuck his head out from stage right and hand signaled the projection booth ….and then….
….house lights out….the MGM Lion roared on the closed red velvet curtain as it swept open

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 8, 2005 at 1:34 am

The Lyric was still showing movies in 1965, according to an ad I found. I don’t know how much beyond that it lasted.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 19, 2005 at 10:33 am

From Buildings of Rhode Island by William H. Jordy, 2004:

“The Lyric Theater’s handsome sheet-metal elevation is dominated by a huge blind arch patterned in lattice which once measured the width of its missing marquee. Prefabricated stampings of Ionic pilasters, panels, frets, and swags are elegantly positioned around this center. (As this is written, the front has been Queen Anne-ed in dark greens and maroon, although it seemed more ‘lyric’ when it was properly white and pastel. So avowedly scenographic in character, this is perhaps the loveliest small theatre facade in the state. How sad that movies have left it!”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 15, 2005 at 3:36 am

The former theatre, no longer an antique store, is now a retail outlet called Lyric Twist. It has been given a new exterior look and specializes in china, giftware, children’s items, and other stuff. Here is a photo. The Lyric was located about a block from the Capitol Theatre on Market Street and replaced it as the sole town movie theatre by the time the sound era rolled in. More precise and detailed information on this and the Capitol Theatre of Warren would be appreciated.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 6, 2005 at 12:12 pm

This was taken a couple of years ago. I’m not sure that the theatre is still an antique store. When it was, though, actor Anthony Quinn, who live in nearby Bristol during his last years, used to visit to browse and make purchases.
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