Columbus Theatre (Providence, Rhode Island)

The Columbus Theatre is a movie theater and concert venue in Providence, Rhode Island. The theater is located at 270 Broadway in the city's Broadway–Armory Historic District.

Columbus Theatre
Columbus Theatre, Broadway, Providence, RI.jpg
The Columbus Theatre, Broadway
General information
Address270 Broadway, Providence, Rhode Island, 02903
Coordinates41°49′12″N 71°25′35″W / 41.82013°N 71.42627°W / 41.82013; -71.42627Coordinates: 41°49′12″N 71°25′35″W / 41.82013°N 71.42627°W / 41.82013; -71.42627
OpenedNovember 1, 1926
Renovated1962, 2012
OwnerJon Berberian
Technical details
Floor count2
Known forIndependent cinema
Other information
Seating capacity1000
🕷Columbus Theatre


The building was designed by architect Oreste DiSaia and built by realtor Domenic Annotti in 1926.[1] DiSaia designed it to be “outdated”. Art Deco was the fashion of the time but he designed it as “a 19th-century Italianate palace.”[2]

When opened, the theater featured vaudeville and silent films before it was leased by RKO Albee Theater. It was considered “one of Providence’s premier cinemas for the next 25 years.”.[1] In 1929, it was renamed the Uptown Theatre.[3]

They fell on hard times until Misak Berberian bought it in the summer of 1962. He returned it to original name. With his son Jon in charge, they renovated the theatre. After extensive repairs, they reopened the Theatre on November 1, 1962 (the 36th anniversary of the original opening). They closed again in 2009 to make necessary “fire updates” required after the Station nightclub fire[4] and reopened November 17, 2012.[1]

When Jon took over, he programmed second-run movies, a few operas and recitals. But facing competition from the multiplexes that opened in Providence, they began showing porn. Since the most recent renovation, they showcase a variety of entertainment including live performances. Performers have included John C. Reilly and his band, John Reilly and Friends.[2]

The Columbus Cooperative runs the Theatre. They have two theatres - the small theatre upstairs seats 200, and the large theatre seats 800.[5] The Columbus Cooperative includes the Providence folk band The Low Anthem, whose members assist in planning events such as film screenings and concerts.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "About Us". Columbus Theatre. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Barron, Jesse (March 24, 2015). "The Columbus Theatre's Folk Revival". NY Times. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  4. ^ Berke, Ben (April 13, 2017). "Film makes a comeback at Providence's Columbus Theatre". Providence Journal. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  5. ^ "FAQ". Columbus Theatre. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  6. ^ "It Takes A Theatre: The Low Anthem reflect a rebuilt arts hub on new LP 'Eyeland'". Vanyaland. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2021.