Loew’s State Theatre (now PPAC)

220 Weybosset Street, Providence, RI


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Built In



Loew’ s State Theatre, located at 220 Weybosset Street in the heart of downtown Providence, was completed in 1928 at the height of nationwide motion picture theatre building activities. Designed by the firm of C. IV. Rapp and George L. Rapp, of Chicago, who were among the most successful and prominent of American movie theatre designers, the complex building includes an elaborate 3200-seat theatre as well as offices and stores. The com plex ‘is of steel frame construction with concrete floors and reinforced twelve-inch brick curtain walls. The primary Weybosset Street facade is entirely faced in terra cotta tile: elsewhere the brick walls are exposed and rather plain, except ‘for terra cotta detailing used ‘for storefronts, string courses, cornices, and roof parapets. The theatre occupies most of the city block bounded north by Weybosset Street, east by Page Street, south by Pine Street, and west by Richmond Street. The Weybosset Street and the Richmond Street facades are the primary and secondary facades respectively. The sections of the " - theatre building vary in height from one to five stories according to the functions for which they were designed. The front entrance and lobby portion of the building, with offices above, is four stories high. The auditorium and its concomitant service areas at the rear are five stories tall. Shops, offices, and the secondary theatre entrance occupy one- and two-story sections along the west Richmond Street side. The theatre is irregular in shape as well as in height, due to the site it occupies see site plan. Although fourteen buildings were razed on the theatre site, two buildings - - at the corners of Weybosset and Page Streets and Weybosset and Richmond Streetsstanding. Thus the section of the theatre facing Weybosset narrowed on either side for a depth of 58 feet along Page Street and 85 feet along Richmond Street to accommodate the earlier buildings. Behind this, the building expands fully east to Page Street, west to Richmond Street, and south to Pine Street. Source - National Historic Register Note - now Providence Performing Arts Center