Timeline

1911

  • Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company built their first open-air theater

1916

  • Luther Warner worked in the printshop of the Three Rivers Commercial
  • Warner also worked at the Vaudette located in the old Smith building

1918

  • The Fitzpatrick-McElroy company bought the Rex theater

1925

  • July 28- E.J. Miller came to visit the theater and check up on the building process- the inspection went well
  • Dec. 17- seating and carpets were being installed into the theater, green and gold drapes were soon to be installed
  • Dec. 19- ad for the Three Rivers College of Music and Fine Arts Affiliated with the University Extension Conservatory of Chicago.
  • Dec. 23- theater officially opened. Run by the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company (at the time they owned 45 theaters) and managed by L.H. Warner. Richard Dix in “The Lucky Devil” was the opening film

1927

  • Theater was leased to W. S. Butterfield of Butterfield Theatres (from Detroit)

1932

  • ‘Goodfellows Club’ raised funds for kids with holiday paper sales and treated them to a movie at the Riviera

1934

  • Riviera was the site of “Vodvil Frolic” New Year’s Eve, featured act was “the 9 Rudkers”

1936

  • Dance Recital at the Riviera, one of the dancers was Jane Pritchard

1938

  • Butterfield Theaters purchased the Rialto

1942

  • L.H. Warner remodeled and installed new signs
  • Blackouts were being practiced
  • Warner presented $250 in war bonds to Paul Cassault
  • March 18- Riviera Beauty Shop ad printed next to the Riviera Soda Grill ad
  • Chandeliers were replaced and new air-conditioning ducts were installed in time for the 25 yr. anniversary

1944

  • Warner was appointed county chairman of 6th war loan drive
  • The 19th annual Kiddie’s Christmas Show was sponsored by Three Rivers Service Clubs, Three Rivers Commercial, and the Riviera

1946

  • Ted Tobler was named new manager of the Riviera (March)

1947

  • Ted Tobler elected chairman of the March of Dimes

1948

  • Dec. 22- Riviera Theater’s 23rd annual Kiddie Christmas Show attracted 1500 kids, they crowded the lobby and theater
  • ‘Now Showing’ “Sign of the Ram” starring Alexander Knox

1950

  • Liberty Bell Replica came to Three Rivers and was on display at the Riviera. The event opened the American Legion Bond Drive
  • Dec. 23- Celebrated 25th anniversary with 700 kids attending the annual Christmas Party by the Three Rivers Commercial and the Riviera. Roy Rogers starred in the feature and Santa passed out sacks of candy. Anniversary shows included Fred Astaire and Betty Hutton in ‘Let’s Dance’
  • Current Marquee was installed

1956

  • Organ was removed and donated to St. John’s Lutheran Church

1957

  • The last year that the stage was used (TRC, 6/25/05/05)
  • Bigger, wider screen was added along with a more modern sound system

1986

  • John Wendt obtained ownership of the Riviera until 2000.