The Providence Cinematheque was planned to be a unique nonprofit center for film and media arts. DUAL prepared initial designs for a location on Providence’s West Side.
This new cultural hub was to include three new screening rooms ranging from 50 to 200 seats, office space, and a lobby bar. DUAL proposed a unique tiered screening room and a public plaza on Westminster Street, intended to create a focal point within an emerging neighborhood for food and culture.
Historically, adaptive reuse has been ripe territory for cinema spaces, including the appropriation of Vaudeville theaters between live acts for one-reel movies, and the reinhabiting of storefront spaces for Nickelodeons. The Providence Cinematheque will continue this durable social tradition of adaptive reuse for movie houses, while celebrating the practice of cinemagoing into the 21st century.
The project was to reinhabit a former office-supply store and warehouse, abandoned for over 25 years. The building was constructed in at least two phases: a 19th-century retail and office structure on Westminster Street, and a midcentury addition stretching back to Washington Street. The bearing-wall construction allows column-free space and simplifies structural interventions.