Sunday, February 12, 2006

Riviera 1978


The River Hills and Riviera weren't anything baroque to look at from the outside, but they were good, solid screening rooms--generally the best picture and sound in town. Most people credit their biggest blockbuster memories to these houses--this photo circa 1978 is but one example.

The building, at 222 Crocker near Vets Auditorium, was razed in 2003.

(This photo is from the TRHS 1978 Yearbook, which carries no copyright. If there is any objection to running this photo, please email me and I will take it down. )

3 comments:

Jeff said...

This was a tremendous theatre. I met my wife there, I was the manager and she was a concession employee. At first, this theatre was hard ticket for the great musicals such as Hello Dolly, Dr. Zhivago etc. The River Hills auditorium was designed to show Cinerama with the three projector process. The screen was 90'wide and had a massive curve. High back rocker seats were in both auditoriums with the walls covered in velvet draperies. The Riviera boasted Sensurround when it opened Earthquake (Shook the place bad enough to do minor damage). When the Riviera was set to premiere The Exorcist, the projection room door mysteriously locked and caused a 1/2 hour delay while an usher was hoisted above the ceiling into the booth. This theatre was considered the Flagship house for the Dubinsky chain and always had the newest and best equipment. It posted impressive grosses.

More later....
Jeff Eisentraut

Anonymous said...

My brother was an usher there in the 70s. Apart from lots of stories about people fainting during "The Exorcist", he had the pleasure of watching crowd after crowd literally roar with laughter during the fart scene in "Blazing Saddles" (I don't think people had ever seen such a thing in a movie before)...

Ben said...

I worked there in the late 1990's and seeing that place filled to the max during Titanic and the Star Wars re-releases was impressive, normally on a weekday show we would have only 2 people sitting in the massive auditorium. and fixing that 90 ft screen was a pain, it was all little 1 inch strips that ran from floor to ceiling, and nothing creepier then doing the last walk through I swear that place was haunted I miss the good theaters “a little inside info the toilet upstairs in the office would always get plugged up cause we all chain smoked and then we would flush the butts down it”