History: Rebuilding Era (2000-2003)

PARK CINEMAS, Cranston, RI: Feb 2000 – Feb 2001
LIMELIGHT CINEMAS, Warwick, RI: Feb 2001 – May 2001
CASTLE CINEMAS, Providence, RI: Jun 2001 – Sep 2003
PASTIME CINEMAS, Bristol, RI: Jun 2002 – May 2003

The Park Cinemas was a one-year run. It was dusty and starting to decay, but it served it’s purpose as a place to go after the long running MBC had ended. There is nothing eventful to report here except the ending. Without warning, right during a show, we discovered the cinema was abruptly closing and we had to clear out at the end of that show. The theater was closing for renovations (that would go on for 8 years).

Next, it was back to the building that had been the Meadowbrook, now under new ownership and called the Limelight Cinemas. This was a short but positive run. Unfortunately, the business ended there after 4 months.

We next went to the Castle Cinemas with high hopes of another “home”. It was a small cinema in disrepair but about to get remodeled. Ownership had dreams of “maitre d”. After the first few months, we took time off while the remodeling was done. After remodeling and opening a restaurant/bar, it became Castle Cinemas & Cafe. We were excited to be part of all this. Unfortunately, promises made were broken. Ownership was a disaster with ill-conceived business plans. They dribbled out one good manager after another until finally at the end they achieved a management level equal to their own ineptitude (aka “Crazy Burger”). We were at the Castle for 2 1/3 years. It ended terrible with management asking us to leave as an unwanted element. We cleared out, and they predictably went out of business a few months later.

Combining the failures of the Castle ownership, the tininess of the theater, the lack of parking, and the high crime in the area, we could only do so much there. Internally, the negative of this time was that we were reverting back to being a more insular cast. That stymied growth. On the positive side, the cast did have a rejuvenated enthusiasm level. There was “buzz” in the cast that had been missing. We had become balanced enough that we could start doing some one-off alternate movies. This success set the ground for later productions. We also had a concurrent monthly run at the Pastime Cinemas. It was during this period that the cast changed it’s name to the “RKO Army”. By the very end of this run, upon exiting the Castle, we were poised for major change.