Riviera Theatre

1060 St. John's Place,
Brooklyn, NY 11213

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The Riviera Theater opened on December 10, 1921. iT is listed in the 1926 edition of film Daily Yearbook with a seating capacity of 3,200. Once operated by the B.F. Keith chain, then the Fox Theatres chain followed by Randforce Amusement Corp. It stood on St. John’s Place and Kingston Avenue.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Stanzinn on February 11, 2004 at 6:55 am

Was this theatre the Riviera? I remember it as the Rivera but I may have pronunced it improperly.


Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 11, 2004 at 9:40 am

It was the Rivera, but frequently mis-reported as the Riviera due to the closeness in spelling. If I recall correctly, the name Rivera honored a hero of the Spanish-American War. It was already an old theatre by the time that Fox took over.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 11, 2004 at 7:31 am

Rivera is the correct name, not Riviera. It was long part of the Keith’s circuit, together with the Orpheum, Bushwick, Greenpoint, Prospect, and Flatbush. Fox bought it during his late 1920s buying spree, but did not operate it long due to his bankruptcy…The only times it was ever known as Riviera was in typographical errors in the newspapers and advetising. Unfortunately, that happened often because it was an easy error to make…The Rivera’s seating capacity was 2,292. This was an old theatre, dating back to at least the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. Its connection with movies was minimal. Several years ago, I went looking for the building, but found no traces of it. It must have been demolished.

ERICJF2 on December 25, 2004 at 2:44 pm

I lived at 1143 St Johns Place and remember seeing shows (I think a circus) as well as some movies at the RIvera circa 1949 or 1950.
I think it eventually became a storage place for moving vans and then an A & P.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 19, 2005 at 6:53 am

The 1945 edition of the Motion Picture Theatre Directory published by the New York Film Board of Trade lists the Rivera as part of the Randforce circuit. This is consistent with the Rivera’s early take-over by William Fox, whose Brooklyn outlets (with the notable exception of the downtown Fox) eventually were turned over to Randforce management. By the time of the 1954 Film Daily Year Book, the Rivera had apparently closed, as it is not listed under Brooklyn theatres or as part of the Randforce circuit.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 1, 2007 at 9:45 am

I found this being advertised in January, 1928, as Werba’s Rivera, presenting stage plays except on Sundays, when vaudeville and films took over. The current play was “10th Avenue,” a melodrama that had survived for only 88 performances in its original Broadway production starting in August, 1927 at the Eltinge Theatre. No doubt the version presented at Werba’s Rivera used the same scenery and costumes, if not the same cast.

jflundy on March 19, 2009 at 12:39 pm

The 1924 Brooklyn Eagle Almanac has it as a B.F. Keith’s Theater in a quarter page ad.

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