Rhode Island Auditorium

Rhode Island Auditorium was an indoor arena in Providence, Rhode Island, at 1111 North Main Street. It hosted the NBA's Providence Steamrollers 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 opened in 1926. Through the years, a myriad of events including the Ice Capades, public skating, boxing, concerts, and religious events were held at the old barn. After the Reds departed for the downtown Civic Center, the Auditorium, for a time, became a tennis venue.[2]

Rhode Island Auditorium
The Arena, The Main Event, Providence Auditorium
Plaque commemorating the former site of the Rhode Island Auditorium.
Location1111 North Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02906
Coordinates41°51′2.34″N 71°24′6.34″W
OwnerHubert Milot, Louis A. R. Pieri(19381967)
OperatorLouis A. R. Pieri (Manager, 1929)
OpenedFebruary 18, 1926
Providence Reds (AHL) (19261972)
Providence Steamrollers (NBA) (19461949)[2]
Providence Friars (NCAA) (1952–1973)

In 1969, a concert by Sly and the Family Stone at the auditorium was followed by a riot. This led mayor Joseph A. Doorley to ban all rock concerts in Providence; the ban only lasted for a few months.[3]

It was torn down in 1989 and parking affiliated with The Miriam Hospital now occupies the site. In 2009, the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society, a group formed to commemorate the hockey team, marked the site with a plaque commemorating the team's existence.[1]

Concert dates

Date Band Opening Act(s)
August 14, 1967Herman's HermitsThe Who
July 18, 1968The Who
November 4, 1968Cream[4]
May 17, 1969Jimi HendrixBuddy Miles Express, Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys[5]
June 9, 1970Crosby, Stills, Nash & YoungCountry Funk[6]
April 21, 1971The Grateful Dead[7]
August 13–14, 1971Chicago


  1. "With puck and pluck: Documentary tells the story of the Rhode Island Reds hockey team". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  2. "AIR Historical :: RI Auditorium". Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  3. Stanton, Mike (2003). The Prince of Providence. New York: Random House. pp. 29, 32.
  4. "The Clock That Went Backwards Again: Cream - 1968-11-04 - Providence". August 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  5. "the jimi hendrix encyclopedia - jimihendrix.com". Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  6. "RI Rocks". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  7. http://www.dead.net/show/april-21-1971

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