The Park Theatre was built in 1924 for $100,000 by the firm William R. Walker and Son. It was a movie theatre with 988 seats (247 seats per 4 aisles) and an orchestra pit. approximately 100 ft long.
By 1963, the owners were seeking permission to raze the building to make way for a gas station. A neighborhood petition drive helped to stop the plan. The Park Cinema closed the following year but reopened in March 1965 under new management. The theater became a second-run movie house when it was converted into a twin cinema in 1971 and a triple cinema in 1978.
In 1985, the Park Theatre was a second-run movie theatre, playing popular films that audiences still craved after the first-run cinemas were done with them.
In 1999, Piyush Patel purchased the Park. He owned 36 companies in New England and New Jersey at the time — including a few hotels, a textile plant, and a water treatment facility. He also restored two other theaters, the Narragansett Pier Cinema and Wakefield’s Campus Cinema and put first-run movies into both historic houses. He had planned to do the same with the Park.
New seating, sound system, and wall-coverings modernized the experience.
May 2003 Patel announced a $1.3 million plan to transform the building’s three-theater interior into two — a dinner theater that seats about 150 patrons and an art-house theater with a capacity of about 600.
Restaurant group “Dig In Dining and Entertainment” announced their plan to restore the Park Avenue space into a theater with more than 1,000 seats for dance recitals and other live performances.
There will also be a big a big screen for playing old movies, a café and comedy club, among other improvements.