Riviera Theatre

449 Wabasha Street N.,
St. Paul, MN 55102

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm

A 1919 photo of the New Astor Theatre from the archives of the American Terra Cotta Company can be seen on this web page. The text identifies Buechner & Orth as the architects.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Dave Kenney’s Twin Cities Picture Show gives three additional aka’s for the Riviera Theatre (from 1911 to 1916 it was listed the Gaiety Theatre; in 1916 and 1917 it was the Cort Theatre; in 1918 and 1919 it was the OK Theatre. The Gaiety was open in 1910, though, and might have opened in late 1909.)

While there was a theater at this address for a decade before the Astor opened, I don’t know if any of the original building was incorporated into the Astor. Records from a 1913 court case reveal that the Gaiety Theatre had 700 seats, so it was only half the size of the Astor.

The contract for remodeling the store building at 447-9 Wabasha Street for the Gaiety Theatre Co. had recently been awarded to Fred Stanley, according to the November 20, 1909, issue of Construction and Contract News. The project involved complete interior remodeling and a new front with a marquee, at a cost of $4,009 and with a target date of December 6 for completion. Plans for the conversion had been drawn by architect A. C. Pear.

kencmcintyre on August 26, 2006 at 7:58 pm

Here is a photo, sans marquee, from 1920, as well as two 1968 photos:

Broan on May 29, 2006 at 8:45 pm

The original architects were Buechner & Orth