The Theatre, which is now called the Providence Performing Arts Center
, was opened as a Loew's Movie Palace on October 6, 1928. It was designed by George and C.W. Rapp of Chicago, brothers who became renowned as one of the finest teams of theatre architects in America. The Loew's philosophy was to sell tickets to theatres - not movies; this was the inspiration for building this opulent theatre which cost $2.5 million upon completion. On opening day, more than 14,000 people came to see Joe Stoves on the $90,000 Morgan organ and the film "Excess Baggage." Most people came just to see the magnificence of the interior, sparkling with gilding on intricate plasterwork, columns of imported marble and huge crystal chandeliers.
Over the years, the theatre has survived many changes – it was nearly demolished in the 1970s. Now, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and plays a vital role in Providence's ongoing renaissance.