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1111 Echoes

A lot of suggestions to name the Rhode Island reds Heritage Society  newsletter were put on the table, including Cackles from the Reds Roost, Coop Scoop, The Rooster Crows Again, Reds Memories, and even Cock-a-doodle-do (just kidding).

The old 5,500-seat R. I. Auditorium, sometimes called "The Arena," was torn down in the spring of 1989, having sat mostly vacant for 17 years after the Reds moved into the Providence Civic Center in 1972, ending the fabled relationship between the R.I. Reds and the old ice barn.

Built in the mid-1920s, the Auditorium opened for hockey during the 1926-27 season, when the Reds first emerged as a member of the old Can-Am League. They stayed there for 46 years. The building's location? 1111 North Main Street in Providence.

When the ball and crane finally (and tragically) brought down this sports relic, the 1111 location was converted into a parking lot for employees of the neighborhood's renowned care center, Miriam Hospital.

But today, the site is eerie. Some of the foundation still exists.  Neighborhood residents and patrons of the next-door Penalty Box tap have reported that late Sunday evenings, only during winter months, strange sounds and images emanate from 1111: Quiet murmurs of fan cheers and hushed organ music playing Roll out the Barrel, a crackling voice droning out, "Onennnnnne??minute."

And even on evenings graced with cloudless skies, small puddles of water have been found, as if a leaky heaven just happened to pick that spot.

One startling discovery produced remnants of some old rusted chicken wire, and a man's stylish dress-hat circa 1950s fashion, cut as if a razor sliced it (similar to the kind owner Lou Pieri threw on the ice to celebrate a Reds hat-trick). Of course, the opposition then (and even now) would defiantly skate over his fine fedora, only to ruin it.

A few more things: Echoes have been heard of vendors barking, "Ice cream. Ice cream. Get your chocolate-covered ice cream." And, of course, "Hockey News. Get your Hockey News," plus "Program, scorecard line-up. Get your line-up for tonight's game."

Finally, on most winter Monday mornings, the lot has been found layered by a ghostly film of smoke (not fog), carrying with it a faint odor of cold pizza and stale beer.

Yes, these are the eerie sounds, images and scents of the old R. I. Auditorium. They remain with all of us.  So, our newsletter's name: 1111 Echoes.  Reminiscing?


1111 North Main Street -- The Reds' home for 46 years.

R. I. Reds Heritage Society
1 Penrod Avenue, Suite 1111, Riverside, RI 02915
Telephone and Fax: 401-270-0035
email: webmaster@rireds.org