Rivoli Theatre

3155 East 10th Street,
Indianapolis, IN 46201

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DavidZornig on November 9, 2015 at 6:28 pm

I added the 1930 file photo courtesy of Indy Star. In case the March 2009 link goes dead.

rivest266 on October 25, 2015 at 10:06 am

September 25th, 1927 grand opening ad in photo section.

echo on June 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I saw the UK band “The Cult” perform there in Spring of 1985.

I heard that it also served as a pornographic theatre.

mpd732 on January 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Chuck1231 your uploading my photographs from Flickr illegally. Please read>>>COPYRIGHT NOTICE: All photographs, text and html coding appearing in this/my Flickr site are protected under United States and international copyright laws. No images are within Public Domain. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration is a violation of copyright. Please do NOT steal my photos, scans or anything in my photostream for your little blogs or websites, Pinterest or Tumblr, Facebook or any other “social media”., or use them for any commercial or non-commercial, for or non-profit uses and please, don’t link to them AT ALL ANYWHERE. ALL photos here are NOT available for purchase. No, you may NOT use them for free, so please don’t waste your/my time asking. (That includes the “but we’ll give you a photo credit” crowd.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 1, 2009 at 12:50 am

The manager who brought the film revival policy to the Rivoli in the 1970s was Thomas H. Ferree. Boxoffice Magazine of September 25, 1972, quoted excerpts from a recent Indianapolis News item about the Rivoli written by columnist David Mannweiler.

Ferree inaugurated the Rivoli’s classic film policy with Chaplin’s “City Lights,” which was to be followed by Olivier’s “Hamlet” and then a program of Busby Berkeley’s “Gold Diggers of 1935” and “Footlight Parade.”

Ferree also announced his intention to book some of the less commercially viable foreign films into the Rivoli, such fare having been unavailable in Indianapolis since the closing of the Esquire Theatre in 1969.

RubyTrio on June 11, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Back in the early 1970s, I went to the Rivoli for the first time. They were showing the 1927 silent film “Wings.” It was awesome because it had a live organ accompaniment. I am sad to see the state that it is now in; on the plus side, at least it is not demolished.

galoux on March 18, 2009 at 6:18 am

Oops. I meant thanks to Ken Mc. for the article, and thanks to Lost Memory for the recent pic.

galoux on March 18, 2009 at 6:10 am

Thanks for the article, Lost Memory. I do hope they can do something with the place. In this economy, it’s more daunting than ever, but there’s always hope.

So sad that the interior was allowed to be so wrecked by the hole in the roof. I know lots of people find that unfathomable, but I once rented a house from a woman who let a big dead tree fall on the house and punch a hole in the roof. It went unrepaired for months!


kencmcintyre on March 1, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Here is a recent story from the Indianapolis Star:

galoux on June 27, 2007 at 10:37 am

Dang, you’re right! I’ve got to start thinking big!

galoux on June 27, 2007 at 10:29 am

The Rivoli was close to my school (#62, on East Tenth across from the Steer-In, now destroyed and the lot turned over to a Mormon church), so I sometimes went there with school friends. I saw “Help!” there on its release, along with “A Hard Day’s Night.” I had just turned 12 and was supposed to pay 50 cents, but I lied and got in for a quarter. I felt so guilty I left another quarter under the pop machine. I’m 54 now, and with movies costing $8 and more, I want my quarter back!

kencmcintyre on August 24, 2006 at 2:23 pm

Here is a late 20s photo, most likely, given the reference to “All talking picture”:

teecee on March 21, 2005 at 7:36 pm

Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2004 Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News

By George Lyle IV, The Indianapolis Star Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Jun. 17—In 1976, the Rivoli Theater at 10th Street and Dearborn Avenue was suffering through an identity crisis.

On the one hand, the theater played host to stars such as Linda Ronstadt and John Mellencamp, back when he was known as Johnny Cougar. On the other hand, when the music stopped playing, the skin flicks came on, and the 1,500-seat Rivoli became a porn palace that drew viewers from out of state.

Before the porn, the Rivoli showed feature films from the time it was built in 1927 as a project of Universal Studios.

Forced by the city to close in 1992 because of indecency violations, its doors have stayed shut for 12 years.

Now a consortium of community organizations wants to make the Rivoli an Eastside attraction once again. At a news conference Wednesday, community leaders and project coordinators gathered during a downpour under the theater’s leaky marquee to announce the beginning of a study on how best to restore and use the 77-year-old theater.

Kathy Harlow, vice president of the Rivoli’s new board of directors, wouldn’t let the rain drown out the good news.

“The heavens are happy, too, because they’re providing copious tears of joy,” she said.

The theater is now the centerpiece of a new not-for-profit organization, the Rivoli Theater and Concert Hall Inc. Pending the outcome of a feasibility study, the theater will become a multiuse community arts center and is slated to become the centerpiece of a revitalized East 10th Street district. Also participating in the revitalization efforts are the Near East Side Community Organization, the East 10th Street Civic Association and the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana.

The Rivoli’s owner, Charles Chulchian, said the theater is an important piece in the rebuilding of the Eastside.

“This neighborhood needs something important, and this building is important,” he said. “This venue is vital to the growth and rebirth of the Eastside.”

Despite the optimism at the press conference, the arts center plan is still not a done deal.

The Efroymson Fund, a local philanthropic organization, donated $15,000 to fund a study to determine what the Rivoli will need to become useable again. Citizens Gas & Coke Utility donated $6,000 to fund a business plan to determine the most efficient use of the theater’s space.

However, the two studies will only help determine how much money it will take to turn the theater into a community destination — they are not a part of any reconstruction funding. The Rivoli board has not begun to raise money for remodeling.

Rivoli board member Mark Dollase said he is optimistic, but costs are a definite concern.

“I think that’s something to look at, balancing the costs of stabilization versus what you’re going to get out of it,” he said.

Whatever the final bill is, Christina Blair said she would be happy to see the Rivoli revitalized. A bartender at the Ten-De Club across the street, Blair said a community center would work wonders for the neighborhood.

“I think it’s good, because you’ve got a lot of kids out here, and you need to keep them out of trouble.”

Chulchian said he hopes that the community will respond to the new and improved theater.

“It was a packed house, and I’m sure it will be packed again,” he said.

To see more of The Indianapolis Star, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.IndyStar.com