Rivoli Theatre History
The original building on the Rivoli site was built in 1910. This building's original foundation is under the north-east corner of the present Rivoli.
The present Rivoli Theatre is the product of two distinct building phases. The original was constructed in 1923. Although it's design has been attributed to Israel Kaplan and his son Arch, recent research suggests that Emil Motl, who was responsible for the 1937 remodel, was also the architect of the original building. An expansion and remodel was done in 1937.
The 1923 marquee was a simple iron canopy with decorative metal cresting and opaque glass tiles. In 1937, this was replaced (or concealed) by a square neon sign with an elaborate decorative crest. The current marquee is a 3 sided sign dating to the 1950's. All three signs were carried by metal chains, the contemporary ones may be the originals. The large vertical neon sign is original.
The recessed entrance also reflects two construction phases. The original ticket booth was rectangular and projected a considerable distance into the foyer.It was of wood construction and embellished with opaque glass tiles. The entrance doors were of multi-pane glass and the walls were divided into panels, some doubling as poster frames. The 1937 foyer, which is intact today has a tiled floor and enameled and chrome siding.
The lobby and lounge retain their original spatial configurations, but are finished in non-historic materials.
The auditorium was constructed in two stages. The original space was 124 feet long and it's decorative scheme is unknown. In 1937, a 36 foot addition was added to the rear accommodating six additional rows and a stage. At the same time, the auditorium was completely redecorated in the Art Deco style. The 1937 scheme for the auditorium is completely intact.
The Rivoli was purchased in 1998 by the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop. Seats were removed to accommodate a larger stage, and new heating and cooling systems were installed. In recent years a sound and lighting booth was constructed along with dressing rooms and additional rest rooms.