With all of the attention focused on the near eastside during the Super Bowl Legacy Project, one building is near the top of everyone’s list of restoration: the Rivoli Theater at 3155 E. Tenth Street.

The Spanish Mission Revival style theater was designed by architect Henry Ziegler Dietz. It was built in 1927 at the end of the trolley line by Universal Pictures Corporation.  Time is short this week, but a great history can be found on the web page of the Rivoli Center for the Performing Arts.  Here the marquee advertises “Bride of the Regiment,” a musical film released in 1930. (Photograph from the Indiana Album: NESCO History & Preservation Committee Collection)

The theater was still is good condition is this undated photograph from ca. 1970. (Photograph from the Indiana Album: NESCO History & Preservation Committee Collection)

Rivoli Theater, ca. 2010 (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Rivoli Theater, ca. 2010 (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Today, the theater, which has been unused for decades, is threatened due to serious roof issues and will cost millions to restore. A dedicated group has formed a non-profit, acquired the building in 2007, and is working on a plan to save the historic theater. Read more about the Rivoli Center for the Performing Arts and learn how you can help save this east-side landmark.

[Would you like to see your old photographs featured in this Then and Now column? If so, attach a high resolution jpeg or png and any details about the building within our “Say Hi” link in the footer of our website.]



4 responses to “Indianapolis Then and Now: Rivoli Theater- 3155 E. Tenth Street”

  1. basil berchekas jr says:

    Used to attend their Saturday dime matinees there; even walked down to he Rivoli once in a while. Also did the matinees at the Arlington, Irving, Emerson, and Tuxedo theaters and one in Brightwood.

  2. Tobie Smith Kniess says:

    Thanks, Joan. It would be great to see all who love the building at the next Rivoli Board Meeting: Wed. May 02, 6 PM, 2nd floor, John Boner Center.

    Basil, I hope you will share your favorite memories on the Rivoli Theatre Indianapolis Facebook Page.

  3. Judith Meyer says:

    Does anyone remember Vivian Arbaugh? She was an organist there and I took lessons from her for awhile.

  4. Tiffany Benedict Browne says:

    Arbaugh? Or Allisbaugh? I lived in a house formerly owned by the latter.

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