From The Westerly Sun – April 3, 2021
By Nancy Burns-Fusaro / Staff writer
WESTERLY — Film lovers will soon be able to sit comfortably in one of the United Theatre’s three state-of-the-art movie houses and enjoy first-run art-house movies every day of the year.
“Three hundred and sixty-five days a year,” said a smiling Lisa Utman Randall, the theater’s executive director one afternoon last week as she led a group of people on a tour of the building, which is near completion and on track to open in June. “It’s going to be amazing.”
Amazing is certainly one way to describe the $12 million renovation of the Canal Street property, which includes not only the original United Theatre — which opened as a Vaudeville theater in January 1926 — but the adjacent former Montgomery Ward building.
From the beginning of the renovation, which started when The Westerly Land Trust purchased the theater as part of the Urban Program in the winter of 2006, plans have called to develop the property into somewhat of a “mini Lincoln Center” for the region.
And now, as opening day inches closer, and The United Theatre makes plans to officially open its doors as the region’s premier arts complex, the breadth, depth and scope of the project is there for all to see.