Providence Performing Arts Center
In the late 1970’s, Marsella Development conceived of an ambitious project to transform a 1928 Loew’s movie theater into a 3,200-seat performing arts center located in the City of Providence. The then owner was unable to continue movie theater operations and was in the process of demolishing the historic structure to build a parking garage. Recognizing the unique opportunity to create a first class facility, Marsella Development negotiated a short-term option to purchase the property in order to conduct a study to determine the support for and feasibility of the project. In order to develop a solid base of financial and moral support for the project, funds were solicited from both corporate and governmental sources. Following a successful feasibility study, Marsella Development raised funds from the corporate sector to acquire the facility and public funds to begin the renovation process. Rom Marsella was instrumental in the creation of a separate non-profit entity to own and operate the facility, hired its first executive director and actively solicited the participation of community leaders to ensure its long-term success. Over the past decades, the Providence Performing Arts Center has brought enjoyment to millions of Rhode Islanders by offering a broad spectrum of artistic endeavors and Broadway shows.