Riviera Theatre

2575 Broadway,
New York, NY 10025

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Riviera

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Built in 1913 for William Fox by Thomas Lamb, the Riviera Theatre, it was later leased out to and booked by the Shubert Brothers Theatre Company. It had an upstairs theater called the Japanese Gardens Theatre (q.v.). The Riviera Theatre (and next door Riverside Theatre, also designed by Thomas Lamb) were part of the so-called “Subway Circuit” of legitimate houses.

It was later operated as part of the Skouras Theaters Corp. chain, and later became a United Artists movie theater. The Riviera Theatre, Riverside Theatre and Japanese Gardens Theatre have long since been demolished, replaced by an apartment tower.

Contributed by Jean

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 25, 2007 at 8:08 am

The introduction needs correcting. William Fox (not the Shuberts) built the Riviera. Please see Weldon Durham’s post above of 9/27/05 for confirmation of that, and the later deal that Fox made with the Shuberts for booking and operating the Riviera.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 1, 2009 at 4:09 am

I believe a glimpse of the Riviera and Riverside marquees can be seen in the 1962 version of “The Manchurian Candidate” as Frank Sinatra and Janet Leigh take a taxi ride home from the police station.

Can anyone confirm it was these two theatres?

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on February 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm

The last movie ad I could find for the Riviera was for a martial arts and exploitation double feature of “The Screaming Tiger” and “Black Mama, White Mama” in November of 1973.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Here are two small photos depicting the Riverside and Riviera theaters, featured in an ad for the builder, Libman Contracting Company, from the Year book of the Architectural League of New York, 1914.

The Riviera was builtin 1913, by the way, not 1912. The Riverside was built in 1911.

Movieplace
Movieplace on September 28, 2011 at 8:01 am

I love the new picture. I grew up nearby and I remember the stores were occupied up til the end. So this must be close to the end. There was a Barton’s Candy store and a liquor store that I clearly remember in addition to “Chess City” and the “Eat Shoppe” on the corner of 96th street. Years ago I met the son of the owner of that liquor store. He is a few years older than me and told me tales of his explorations of these beautiful theaters.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 30, 2012 at 3:20 am

Thanks, Movieplace, for this and that.

It’s too bad that there isn’t a way for CT to notify when there is an update (such as new photo upload) for specific theaters, in addition to notifying when a new comment is added to a subscribed thread.

Movieplace
Movieplace on May 12, 2012 at 5:02 am

Ed, I put some pictures on the Riverside Theater page as well.

peltz
peltz on March 17, 2014 at 7:05 pm

In the movie The Seven Ups the car chase goes by this theater.

peltz
peltz on March 17, 2014 at 7:06 pm

actually, the riverside.

Movieplace
Movieplace on March 18, 2014 at 2:38 am

The chase goes by twice. Many is the time I framed by framed on the VHS release of this picture. Thank god for DVDs. A bit of geographic cheating going on. But hills are almost obligatory in a car chase (thanks Steve McQueen)and there is a hill starting at Amsterdam Avenue.

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