Rhode Island International Film
Providence, RI. USA
Exterior shot of the theatre. It originally had 1,492 seats at
the time of construction in 1926. It currently seats 650 on the main
floor, 150 in the mezzanine, and 250 in the now-walled-off upper balcony.
This theatre was built in 1926 and, for a brief time in the 1920s,
was renamed the Uptown Theatre. This mosaic still greets customers
at the front entrance.
Ticket window in outer lobby; note the plaque indicating that the building
is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Some of the stained-glass artwork in the outer lobby.
Concession stand in inner lobby. The door behind the stand goes
to the main projection booth.
Bad time exposure showing the interior of the main theatre. Note
the mural above the stage.
Console for the WurliTzer theatre organ.
Organ blower backstage.
A few organ pipes.
Original Ward-Leonard resistance-type dimmer panel backstage.
A few of the prints shown at the 2002 Rhode Island International Film
Festival; all had to be hand-inspected, of course. Many were lab-new
The main projection booth. Equipment includes Century C's, SH-1000
soundheads, Super Lume-X lamphouses, and a Speco platter (to the right
of this shot). Three formats can be shown properly: Academy,
1.85, and CinemaScope. Films can be run off 2000' reels, 6000' reels
or platter, though the platter was not used for the festival. This
booth was built in the late 1970s to replace the original booth (see photos
below), which was high above the balcony. Note that the projection
angle here is almost straight-on, with almost no keystone distortion.
The lamps currently use 1600-watt bulbs.
Reverse shot of the main booth.
Kelmar mono sound system and exciter supply. The theatre currently
uses exciter-lamp changeover. Digital is overrated!
The balcony was walled off in the 1960s to become the "studio cinema"--Rhode
Island's first "multiplex."
The booth for the "studio cinema." It hasn't run 35mm for many
years, though it may do so again soon. Equipment includes Super Simplexes,
RCA 9030 soundheads, and Strong arc lamphouses (which will probably be
replaced with Super Lume-Xs in the near future).
Reverse shot of the upper booth.
For the festival, the upper theatre was used only for 16mm and video
screenings, using an Elmo portable xenon projector and a Sharp LCD video
projector, running Beta SP and VHS.
To get to the original 1920s-era booth, one must first ascend this
...and walk across this catwalk through the attic. Better hope
that there isn't a nitrate fire, as it would be difficult to get out of
this booth quickly!
Rewind bench for the original booth. It has been nearly a quarter
century since film ran up here.
Operators' licenses and city booth inspection certificate on the wall
above the rewind bench.
This booth is equipped with Super Simplexes, Western Electric soundheads
and bases, and Peerless arc lamps.
City fire inspection plate on one of the projectors--a relic of the
A shot of the other projector.
Switches and control panel for TransVerter motor-generator sets.
Booth phone--at one time this could be used to call the box office
More outdated equipment. This time we have a Sony HDCAM deck
and DLP projector with HMI lamp (next picture). This is the same
video format as George Lucas used for Episode II and has been collecting
dust in the booth since 1926. The tape shell is the same as Beta
SP, but the format is completely different. The picture looked OK
and the colors were beautiful, but the sharpness and shadow/highlight detail
were sorely lacking in comparison with film.
Special thanks to Scott Norwood for the pics.