Neighborhood Cinema

Nice to see that the Park Cinema in Rolfe Square is getting ready for its second life…

CRANSTON, R.I.—The long-awaited Park Cinema project in Cranston is getting ready to open and the entertainment complex is looking to hire people for its martini lounge, theatre and comedy club.

People used to be able to walk to the movies. A nice little theater on Hope St. was demolished in the 80’s to make room for the CVS. I’d have kept the movies, given a choice, but the economics are tough. I guess in a sense we all did vote with our dollar, and the chain won. The Castle on Chalkstone Ave. is still there, but vacant and waiting for better times. On the other hand, the Columbus has gone respectable and is showing new independent films.

Good luck, Park Cinema.

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7 thoughts on “Neighborhood Cinema

  1. No such hope alas,for the Castle on Chalkstone Avenue where we used to drop off the kids when they were young.That street has become a free fire zone for gangs now.

  2. For all of the work that’s gone into the Park since it closed in 1998/99, I also hope that it is a success.

    A few factors will determine the result, I think:
    1.) Will Mr. Patel provide good management of the site? He seemed to need many sticks (i.e., his liquor license being on the verge of expiration) to bring the construction to completion. He needs to make sure that the complex is managed not only directly, but properly.
    2.) Will the parking situation not pose an obstacle? At this point, the only place for large numbers of cars is behind City Hall — across Park Avenue.
    3.) How new will the movies be? First-run flicks tend to draw big crowds throughout the year; second-run and/or low-budget shows don’t. I also wonder whether there could be Castle-type “festivals,” like, say all of the Lord of the Rings movies in one day.
    4.) What kind of clientele will the Park draw — and repel? Mobs of teenagers clogging the Park/Rolfe/Pontiac intersection on Friday nights may not be a good thing. On the other hand, older drinking crowds may not be, either.

    In the end, opening the cinema again is a victory, of sorts — but it’s going to take more time to see how well Mr. Patel can turn the short-term result into long-term success.

  3. IMHO, the whole Rolfe Sq area has real potential. For what, I’m not sure, but I can see it being a mini-Wickendon St, of sorts. It could be a nice pedestrian-friendly spot.

    A bookstore, a coffee shop…some bohemians….

    Of course, that’s wildly optimistic, but a feller can hope, can’t he?

    • There hasn’t been a bookstore on Wickenden for about 15 years.There used to be one that specialized in mysteries,but he moved to Warwick.
      The internet has really impacted used bookstores.I used to haunt 4th Avenue in NYC in the 50’s and 60’s when it was a center for used bookstores.Now it’s all delis and other crap.

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