A Gem of Downtown
Few theaters can say they’ve housed the evolution of American entertainment like this one. Now home to the Tony Award-winning Trinity Repertory Company, this space has vaudeville roots, showed blockbuster hits, and now wows audiences with live theatrical productions. The former Emery Majestic Theater was opened by local vaudevillians, the Emery Brothers, in 1917. Seating around 3,000 people, it was the largest theater in Providence at the time. When vaudeville was replaced by movies as America's favorite form of entertainment, the Majestic became downtown Providence’s premiere movie theater, showing first runs of Warner Brothers and 21st Century Fox films. However, the growth of movie theaters in the suburbs with ample parking slowed business for the Majestic, and it closed its doors in the mid-20th century.
Fortunately, the doors were not closed for long. The Majestic’s history of live performance meant the building was a natural fit to house Providence’s newly formed Trinity Repertory Company. Founded in 1963 in Upper South Providence, Trinity Rep was, and remains, a major part of Providence’s flourishing art scene. Considered “one of the most respected regional theatres in the country,” Trinity Rep is notable for having one of the last resident acting companies in the United States. The Company produces a variety of contemporary and classical plays and musicals, including an annual production of A Christmas Carol, a Rhode Island holiday tradition.
When you visit, be sure to examine the building's facade! With the exception of the iconic “Majestic” marquee, the facade retains its original elegance.