RHODE ISLAND AUDITORIUM 

 

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HISTORY

The Rhode Island Auditorium was built in 1925 by a group of investors headed by Rhode Island native Hubert Milot to create another hockey team.  At that time, there were only two organized professional hockey teams in the United States: the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

The RI Auditorium opened at 1111 North Main Street in Providence on February 18, 1926. Surprisingly, when the arena made its debut, it was not for a hockey game, Instead an overflow crowd of 6,000 spectators jammed the new building to enjoy an ice skating show.

The Arena hosted the NBA's Providence Steamrollers basketball team from 1946 until 1949, and the Providence Reds ice hockey team until the Providence Civic Center (now the Dunkin' Donuts Center) was opened in 1972. The arena held 5,300 people and during its life it hosted many events.  By the time Rock n Roll came to town the arena was too old and not meant to host such load volume concerts.  It was not built with acoustics in mind and the sound most of the time just reverberated inside the hall like we were sitting in a can.  Its hallmark in rock n roll history is the fact that such great acts needed to play big halls in Rhode Island and the RI Auditorium opened its doors for our sake.  Thanks to the Arena we got Dylan, Hendrix, and Cream on their last show in America in 1968.

It was torn down in 1989 and a parking lot now occupies the old site.

 

OTHER WEBSITE WITH INFO:

FOR A DETAILED HISTORY OF THE ARENA BY MICHAEL HAMEL, 2012 CLICK HERE.

A GREAT WEBSITE FROM THE RHODE REDS HERITAGE SOCIETY

FOR MORE HISTORY CLICK HERE FOR AN ARTICLE THAT APPEARED IN THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL



We ask your help to fill in the history of the arena with other concerts, tickets, ads, photos or recording that may exist.

Please send us an email to info@rirocks.net

 

CONCERT WE PRESENTLY KNOW ABOUT

  YEAR MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
                 
  1957 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE

RI Auditorium, Providence

April 17, 1957

Fats Domino

Clyde McPhatter

Chuck Berry

YES      
  1958 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
RI Auditorium, Providence

May 7, 1958

Jerry Lee Lewis

Buddy Holly & The Crickets

Chuck Berry

YES      
  1959 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
                 
  1960 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
                 
  1961 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
RI Auditorium, Providence May 6, 1961 Brenda Lee The Shirelles Jerry Lee Lewis YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence May 7, 1961 Brenda Lee The Shirelles Jerry Lee Lewis YES      
  1962 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
                 
  1963 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE

RI Auditorium, Providence

1963

Roof Top Singers

The Frontiersmen

Johnny Lindy

       
  1964 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
                 
  1965 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
RI Auditorium, Providence October 22, 1965 Bob Dylan     YES   YES Set List
RI Auditorium, Providence November 3, 1965 The Rolling Stones     YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence November 24, 1965 The Beach Boys Cheryl Ann The Pligrims        
  1966 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
RI Auditorium, Providence July 1, 1966 James Brown The Jewels Swanee Quintette YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence August 8, 1966 Herman Hermits Eric Burdon & The Animals The Frontiersmen        
RI Auditorium, Providence November 16, 1966 The Beach Boys The Ascots Chad and Jeremy        
  1967 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
RI Auditorium, Providence July 14, 1967 Dave Clarke Five            
RI Auditorium, Providence August 14, 1967 Herman Hermits The Who The Blues Magoos YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence August , 1967 The Lovin' Spoonful Simon and Garfunkel          
RI Auditorium, Providence October 13, 1967 Donovan Janis Ian   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence November 3, 1967 James Brown            
RI Auditorium, Providence November 24, 1967 The Beach Boys Buffalo Springfield Strawberry Alarm Clock        
  1968 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
RI Auditorium, Providence February 22, 1968 Rascals Alex Nors Rock Time Band Gotsa Noise YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence April 26, 1968 Jefferson Airplane Ultimate Spinach   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence July 18, 1968 The Who  Blood Sweat & Tears   YES     Review
RI Auditorium, Providence August 8, 1968 Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention Vanilla Fudge  Beacon St. Union YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence August 14,1968 Bee Gees  Spanky N' Our Gang   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence August 22, 1968 Jimi Hendrix Experience  Zoo   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence October 4, 1968 James Brown and his Revue     YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence October 12, 1968 Aretha Franklin     YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence November 4, 1968 Cream Terry Reid   YES   YES Recorded
RI Auditorium, Providence November 15 1968 Peter, Paul & Mary Elton John   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence November 27, 1968 Jimi Hendrix Experience        YES   Recorded
  1969 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
RI Auditorium, Providence February 25, 1969 Canned Heat Tommy James & The Shondells   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence March 20, 1969 The Doors            
RI Auditorium, Providence April 19, 1969 Rascals     YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence May 17, 1969 Jimi Hendrix Experience Buddy Miles Express  Cat Mother & The All-Night Newsboys YES YES YES Set List
RI Auditorium, Providence August 22, 1969 Steppenwolf Frijid Pink   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence October 10, 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Country Funk   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence October 31, 1969 Led Zeppelin   Dr. John the Night Tripper Taj Mahal YES YES    
  1970 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
RI Auditorium, Providence April 4, 1970 Steppenwolf Frijid Pink          
RI Auditorium, Providence May 20 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Taylor & Reeves   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence October 10, 1970 Santana James Cotton Blues Band         Recorded
  1971 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
RI Auditorium, Providence February 17, 1971 Melanie     YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence March 26, 1971 Neil Diamond Odetta   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence April 2, 1971 Three Dog Night Uriah Heep Marc Almond YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence April 15, 1971 Ten Years After Humble Pie   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence April 21, 1971 Grateful Dead New Riders of the Purple Sage     YES YES Recorded
RI Auditorium, Providence June 4, 1971 Richie Havens     YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence June 6, 1971 Ike & Tina Turner Revue Mandrill   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence June 12, 1971 Elton John Marc Almond   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence July 15, 1971 Creedence Clearwater Revival Bo Diddley Tower Of Power YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence July 22, 1971 Black Sabbath Black Oak Arkansas     YES   Set List
RI Auditorium, Providence August 13, 1971 Chicago            
RI Auditorium, Providence September 15, 1971 Poco  James Cotton Blues Band   YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence October 20, 1971 Jethro Tull            
RI Auditorium, Providence November 12, 1971 Emerson, Lake & Palmer            
RI Auditorium, Providence November 20, 1971 Allman Brothers Band            
RI Auditorium, Providence November 29, 1971 Chicago            
  1972 MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
RI Auditorium, Providence March 21, 1972 Humble Pie Sweathog Alexis Korner YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence April 15, 1972 David Cassidy            
RI Auditorium, Providence July 30, 1972 Black Sabbath            
RI Auditorium, Providence September 25, 1972 Leon Russell     YES      
RI Auditorium, Providence October 3, 1972 Ten Years After Edgar Winter Group Eggs Over Easy YES YES YES Recorded

1989 the RI Auditorium sees the end of its historic life

photo courtesy of Michael"Tucker" Terzian 

Present day where the grand arena once stood

 

RHODE ISLAND AUDITORIUM MEMORIES:

*Note: if you were there and would like to share your memories, pictures or tape please send it info@rirocks.net

 

 

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