ROCKY POINT PALLADIUM

 

Previous Search                                                                                           Next Search

 

 

HISTORY

The Rocky Point Amusement Park was a highly popular landmark on the Narragansett Bay side of Warwick, Rhode Island. It operated from the late 1840s until its close in 1995. The following year, the park filed for bankruptcy.  (Borrowed from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Point_Amusement_Park)

Creation and early years

1726—Thomas Stafford purchases a large amount of land on Warwick Neck, including the area later called Rocky Point.  The land remained undeveloped.

Rocky Point was an idea first thought of by Captain William Winslow in the 1840s. By 1847, he had purchased a portion of the land and began to offer amusements and serve dinner.

1840--- Captain William Winslow transports Sunday school classes from Providence to Rocky Point on the steamship Argo.

1847---Capt. Winslow becomes owner of Rocky Point and he and “Mother” Winslow serve shore dinners on long tables under the trees.

1850-1858—Winslow adds a carousel, swings, and the Spanish Fandango, the forerunner of the Ferris Wheel.

1860—Stephen A. Douglas, the “Little Giant,” addresses a large crowd at Rocky Point in his campaign to win the presidency.  Despite the good reception at Rocky Point, Douglas loses to Abraham Lincoln.

1860’s The Forrest Casino features minstrel shows, including one with an all-female cast.

1877—President Rutherford B. Hayes calls Alexander Graham Bell from Providence’s City Hotel and then visits Rocky Point.

1883—John L. Sullivan, the “Boston Strong Boy” and heavyweight-boxing champion, fights an exhibition with Steve Taylor, drawing a crowd of 2000.

1907—Joseph Carruolo moves his carousel from lakeside Park in New York to Rocky Point.  Becomes known as the “Merry-Go Round King.

1918—After Col. Harrington dies, his widow closes the park for lack of patronage.  Park re-opens 1920.

1938—Hurricane brings severe damage to Rocky Point—Park closes—re-opens part-time in 1940.

1942-45—Park closed because of World War II shortages and rationing.

(Borrowed from http://www.warwickhistory.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=239:rocky-point-8-modern-times-&catid=55:resorts&Itemid=126)
 

Height of popularity

From the 1950s through the 1980s, Rocky Point Amusement Park was the most popular attraction in Rhode Island. It featured rides such as the Skyliner, Corkscrew Loop Roller Coaster, Log Flume, and the Freefall (similar to the identically named ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain), which fell 13 stories at 55 mph (89 km/h).

1949—Rocky Point purchased by  Vincent Ferla.  His brother Conrad becomes general manager.

1954—Hurricane Carol causes havoc and destroys shore dinner hall.

1955-60—Rocky Point erects new dining hall, the Palladium Ballroom and the Windjammer Lounge.

       

Final years

In the early 1990s, Rocky Point's financial situation became shaky. The privately-held company that owned the park began to lose money as it attempted to keep the park up to date. Critics accused the company's shareholders of trying to wring every last penny out of the park. Rocky Point closed in 1995, then reopened briefly in 1996 as a farewell to patrons. Rides such as the Flume and Corkscrew were sold in an auction and are now in use at other amusement parks.

The official public records of the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Worcester, MA will confirm:

These facts were confirmed again in the Providence Journal and The Warwick Beacon during the Bankruptcy periods of 1995-1997.

If all these loans were not abused, Rocky Point Park just might have still been in business today.

Post-business era, vandalism

After the Rocky Point land was purchased for $8.5 million in 2003, the park's main building, known as the "Big House", was hit by vandals who lit it on fire on September 2, 2004. Police said the fire was suspicious, because the building had no electricity at the time.

Another fire started on October 16, 2006 around 11 a.m., this time in an executive building on the waterfront. Smoke could be seen billowing up more than 2,000 feet (610 m) in the air from miles away. Police reported no injuries in either fire. It is unclear if this fire was caused by arson.

On May 7, 2007, demolition of the remaining midway officially began with a press conference at the park. Prior to this, a handful of stands and minor buildings had already been demolished.

On September 7, 2007, a documentary film about the park titled You Must Be This Tall: The Story of Rocky Point Park had its world premiere at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The film, which is available on DVD, garnered a five-star review from The Providence Journal and played to a sold out crowd of 1,100 people.

In February 2008, the city of Warwick secured a federal grant to purchase about half of the 82 acres (330,000 m2) remaining of Rocky Point Park, including much of the view of the bay. The city officially took title to 41 acres (170,000 m2) shoreline of the former park in August 2008.

In January 2010, a newly-formed non-profit entity called The Rocky Point Foundation, Inc. announced its efforts to press for a public purchase of the remaining 83 acres held by the receiver for the property. If successful, this effort would return public access to the Rocky Point property and continue a 150-plus year history of Rhode Islanders of all ages, backgrounds, and incomes enjoying this seaside retreat. The Rocky Point Foundation has been active in signing up the many people who support a public Rocky Point through its "getthepoint.org" website, public events, and a "Get The Point" bumper sticker campaign.

      

 

CONCERT WE PRESENTLY KNOW ABOUT

VENUE YEAR MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick August 27, 1967 The Yardbirds            
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick November 8, 1968 Janis Joplin w/ Big Brother & Holding Company     YES      
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick September 27, 1969 Sly & The Family Stone The Web Of Sound          
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick August 30, 1975 Orleans     YES YES    
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick August 28, 1978 REO Speedwagan AC/DC Thin LIzzy        
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick July 9, 1982 Joe Perry Project       YES    
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick June 8, 1984 Blue Öyster Cult            
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick June 20, 1986 Steppenwolf Guess Who          
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick July 9, 1989 Average White Band     YES      
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick July 16, 1989 Samantha Fox     YES      
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick May 1, 1991 Jane's Addiction Lush          
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick July 23, 1991 Pat Benatar Roomful Of Blues   YES      
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick July 30, 1991 Warrant Firehouse   YES      
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick August 14, 1991 Fabulous Thunderbirds Roomful Of Blues          
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick September 12, 1991 Billy Squire            
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick September 14, 1991 Little Feat            
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick October 11, 1991 The Ramones            
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick November 13, 1991 Red Hot Chili Peppers Pearl Jam          
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick November 26, 1991 The Pixies Pere Ubu   YES      
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick July 12, 1992 "Weird Al” Yankovic            
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick October 21, 1992 Sonic Youth Jon Spencer Blues Explosion           
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick November 7, 1992 Joe Walsh            
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick May 15, 1993 Dream Theater            
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick July 9, 1993 Quiet Riot            
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick July 17, 1994 Peter Frampton Robin Trower          
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick August 17, 1994 Lush Weezer Live        
Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick October 15, 1994 Roomful of Blues 25th Anniversary Show             

 

Home      Search      Bands      About