Rio Theater

603-609 N. Grant Street,
Odessa, TX 79761

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

| Street View

The Rio Theater in Odessa, Texas opened as the Scott Theater in 1947. The theater is closed and had a for sale sign on it. At one time a church was trying to acquire the building.

In 2010, it was announced that the Rio Theatre would be restored for use as a live performance venue. Click the link below for photos. Any updates on the former Rio Theater would be appreciated.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

troymartin
troymartin on April 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm

I think it was Mrs. Beaird that let me Troy Martin, my brother Brady and Shane Graham into the theatre and gave us full access. She was awesome….

Troy Martin

millsbranch
millsbranch on May 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm

HEY—IF YOU’LL WILL SCROLL DOWN, YOU CAN FIND THE EXACT HISTORY OF
BOTH THE RIO & SCOTT THEATER.
YOU CAN SEE THERE HAVE BEEN 3 RIO’S & 2 SCOTT’S.. THE HISTORY IS
BELOW—CHECK IT OUT THANKS BILLY H.

millsbranch
millsbranch on May 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm

OOPS—I FIND IT IS NOT BELOW, BUT UP ABOVE—BILLY H.

odessariotheatre
odessariotheatre on July 2, 2010 at 5:00 pm

We have purchased the building and repairs are being made to the theater. Our first order of business has been to get the roof repaired. It should completed in about a month. Next we will start renovating and updating the inside. While we own the building we are still looking for investors to help with our project. In addition to the usual repairs we also must purchase and get installed a new fire alarm system and fire sprinkler system. If anyone is interested in the exact history or investing I can be contacted at :)

odessariotheatre
odessariotheatre on September 11, 2010 at 9:14 am

Update— The roof is 99% repaired and we will be moving inside to start restorations on the main auditorium and stage. Renovations are moving a little slower than expected but are moving forward. I found sections on the roof that I went ahead and replaced all the way down to the rafters. Figured if I’m going to fix it then I might as well do it right the first time.
We have a new page on Facebook with lots of pictures. See the progress we make and comment if you like.

We would love to hear stories from people who have been in the theater:)

odessariotheatre
odessariotheatre on September 11, 2010 at 9:16 am

btw…..The history of the Rio is close……but not quite accurate. I have the complete story if anyone is interested.

millsbranch
millsbranch on April 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm

The Rio History above by me Billy Holcomb is Correct.
I have documented proof of what I listed.
I spent years finding the exact dates of openings—closings-operations.
I traced and searched it out to a complete history of all 3 buildings from actual plans/city directories/newspapers/ and
actual owners from the late Mr. Scott in 1959, and Boots Scott
thru the ninties, and many owners & decendents of owners of all
theaters.
In fact My book on the Odessa Theaters can be viewed in the
Southwest Archives at the library in Odessa-
Anyone who claims to have the complete history has to have gotten it out of my laborous toils to get it from forever being hidden.
It was me who did the work—IT IS RIGHT…Billy Holcomb

millsbranch
millsbranch on April 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I urge evryone to check out all the Rio pictures on Don Lewis Vanishing Theaters SEE ABOVE —
ALL 3 RIO STRUCTURES ARE THERE, an notice Billy H Provide the pictures having worn myself thin diggin while others set themselves up stealing, and professing to know what is what..
The Rio was wonderful—Provided entertainment for troves of people
who spent hours in its magic, and can spout memeories in volumn.
billy h.

millsbranch
millsbranch on April 7, 2011 at 7:16 am

I just noticed Cinema Treasures has 3 sites for the Rio, So I am
transfurring my history of the Rio beginnings, so it will be here
with mostly most comments on the current Rio.
The structure was first opened at 120 West 4th street as the Palace
Theater by Joe Rice in October, 1927.
It was Odessa’s second theater, and equipped with 400 seating.
Located directly behind the Odessa Theater, which had also been opened by Mr. Rice.
In March 1928, H.T. Hodge founder of H & H Theater with headquarters at Abilene took over operations of the Palace & Odessa Theaters.
Hodge put his son in law Jack Laird in charge(Laird’s son still resides in Odessa)
Laird & Hodge were also instrumental in later openings in Odessa of
the Ector/Plaza/Texas/Lyric & Broncho Drive In.
The Palace fell into bad times during the big depression, and closed
in July 1932.
On March 30, 1934 James King reopened the theater as the new State,
but found out it was a chore competing with H & H Circuit, and threw
in the towel closing the State in early 1935. >> ENTER THE RIO.
The Scott Family reopened the theater in 1936 renaming it to the RIO.
This Rio was in oepration for 6 years, when the Scott’s built a NEW RIO at the corner of 6th & Grant with an 800 seating capacity, which
was the second RIO in Odessa.
This RIO was in operation for 15 years when it was destroyed by fire.
The walls only survived and can be seen at the corner site.
The Scott was built in 1947 next door to the Rio, and was operated
until 1959 when demand caused a new Scott to be built which I think
still stands but in disaray.
The RIO Marquee in limbo a couple years was brought out and went up
on the original Scott, and 50 years later after many up & downs with
changes and owners the first SCOTT building is still rememebered as
the RIO———-Hope this clears up some of the RIO’s foggy history.
I will be providing Don’s Flicker site with a number of old original
ads from all 3 historic RIO’S—CHECK OUT HIS SITE FOR PICTURES OF ALL OLD ODESSA MOVIE THEATERS.
ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOME OLD ADS OF ANY ODESSA THEATERS
EMAIL ME Billy Holcomb———-sorry for outburst
Abilene

odessariotheatre
odessariotheatre on April 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

Mr. Holcomb, Thank you for your outburst:) It really is appreciated. Obviously the, hand-me-down, information came from the realtor who sold me the building. Would love to visit with you and see the pictures. With proper consent and credits I would also like to display the photos in the theater when we get it open.
Thanks again for your response, research, and details concerning the theater.
Sincerely,
Bruce Beaird

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater