Riviera Theater

1005 W. Lincoln Avenue,
Milwaukee, WI 53215

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Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on August 17, 2013 at 3:45 pm

A Mighty WurliTizer Theater Pipe Organ, Opus 1638, a 2/4, manual/rank, keyboards/sets of pipes, was shipped from the WurliTizer factory in North Tonawanda, New York on May 19, 1927. It had a curved console, 292 pipes, an 18 note cathedral chime, 30 note xylophone, 30 note glockenspiel, bass drum, kettle drum, cymbal, snare drum, tambourine, castanets, Chinese block, horse hoofs, surf, bird, train, auto horn, fire gong, steamboat whistle, siren, tom tom and door bell.

Anyone know what happened to this fine instrument?

“No other make of theater organ has a finer tone, a greater volume or a wider variety of effects than the Mighty WurliTizer.”

Boomster on May 12, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Beautful design.

JimRankin on October 25, 2005 at 4:07 pm

It certainly is, and if one will just scroll down a little on the site’s front page, he will see photos of the RIVIERA ‘then’ and ‘now.’ How clever of you to have found this new owner’s site. Now let us hope that the former theatre can survive the neighborhood it is in.

TimothyRuf on September 21, 2005 at 4:06 pm

Sorry, should have included this link.. interior shot of the theatre:

View link

You can view many photos of this building and the theatre from this link.

TimothyRuf on September 21, 2005 at 4:03 pm

Another great view of the theatre from 1921, with youth gathered in front of the building.

View link

JimRankin on January 20, 2005 at 7:10 pm

That is indeed our RIVIERA not long after opening in 1920, back in the days when promotion was part of the art. The university has a number of photos of it in the Kwasniewski collection of the Urban Archives.

DavidHurlbutt on July 20, 2004 at 9:57 pm

The Riviera was one of the least popular theaters on Milwaukee’s south side in the 1940s and early 50s. At that time it was a Fox Wisconsin theater and was not well maintained. The theater was often dirty, cold in the winter and had a higher admission than nearby movie houses. Admission was eighty cents the same as that charged by the nearby Modjeska, Granada and Avavlon. The Modjeska, Granada and Avalon showed more recent films straight from downtown. Often The Riviera would feature the same double bill as that playing at the nearby Juneau where the admission was thirty-five cents. The Riviera was not as comfortable as the nearby Aragon(Pix) or the Layton. The lobby was small with a cluttered feel resulting from the inclusion of a popcorm machine and candy stand. The Riviera was one of the first theaters on the near south side to close in the early 50s. For the past few years its lobby has been used as a flower shop.

JimRankin on April 13, 2004 at 5:19 pm

Please let me know if you learn anything more about this theatre. Thank You. Jim Rankin =