Rhode Island Park Theatre to Reopen New & Improved This Spring
Rhode Island’s Park theatre was a source of entertainment since 1926 until the pandemic forced the doors closed in 2020. On Tuesday, the new owners of the historic building announced new plans for the space, making way for a new entertainment venue, which will a new comedy club by springtime of this year.
Ed Brady and Jeff Quinlan, owners of the Dig In Dining & Entertainment Restaurant Group, purchased the building and have big plans that are already set in motion.
“The Historic Park Theatre & Event Center will showcase classic movie releases, dance recitals, children’s theatre, educational speaker series, leadership conferences, performance and acting classes, screenwriter competitions, pageants and more,” said Brady. “The theatre will also provide a continued opportunity for our youth to have an outlet to perform and dream.”
Bring in the Comics
The theatre will house a new comedy club, directed by Bill Simas, Rhode Island comedian and founder of Funny4Funds, called "The Comedy Park".
“Funny4Funds opened up a huge doorway to meet different people in the state and New England,” said Simas. “I met Ed and Jeff, started making a friendship, and four years later, they reached out to me about the theatre.”
Ever since he was a teenager, Simas dreamed of entertaining the masses. Brady and Quinlan made that dream come true with one phone call.
A Fresh Start for a Historic Venue
With the slogan, “Laughter Lives Here,” the renovated theatre will house the brand new Comedy Park. The team hopes to have the doors open by April, hosting events seven nights a week, such as karaoke and trivia.
“We are looking to create an incredible brand of entertainment,” said Simas.
While the entire project is a huge win for the state, Simas is most excited about giving the Rhode Island Comedy Hall of Fame an official home.
“Right now, it’s just a website,” said Simas. “It was created by Joe Hebert and Dana Nathanson, and it’s my dream to surprise them and pay homage to them by giving the hall of fame a physical home.”
April 1st is the tentative opening date, where Simas will unveil the Hall of Fame’s new home as the Hall of Fame members perform for the first time at The Comedy Park.
“To be able to create something that not only affects the community but, now more than ever, we need to heal,” said Simas. “Love and laughter always brings us together, and I can at least provide half that equation.”