Schine Riviera Theatre

1455 Lake Avenue,
Rochester, NY 14615

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Slightly clearer version of the Riviera profile photo via Len Laurro.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Riviera Theatre was opened September 25, 1926. It was part of the Schine Circuit by 1941. It was still open in the 1970’s.

Contributed by Howard Malley

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

NittyRanks on November 5, 2004 at 1:44 pm

This theatre was located on


ROCHESTER, NY 14615 now presently has a CVS pharamacy located there. The Riviera Theatre had Two DP70’s. It had 1000 seats. The Riveria featured a multi-format screen that was 67 feet wide fully open. It was mounted in a frame with a slight curve. Projectors were bought by Eastman Kodak in the early 1980’s and installed at Kodak’s “Theatre on the Ridge later on. In the 1970’s porn fims during the week and Godzilla films on the weekends were played. In 1976 and 1978 we went there every saturday. I will try to find pictures for you of the theatre but it was large with one screen and plaster ornimintaion on the celiling. I can give you one of the present location with the CVS there as soon as I can.

Abacab on May 31, 2005 at 5:18 pm

If you go to you can see a live shot of the Monroe. The Riviera was the other one I could not think of. Just remember they showed porn . It looks like the Coronet is the only one that may be salvaged. I may be up ther in July, & if you want tohook up, we can contact the owner and see if we could go in just to photograph it. (I am a photographer) How aboutthe Waring? It used to be a single theater with a balcony. My first ever movie was there 101 Dalmations. I also saw
The Godfather (Man I was only 9 ! guess that’s why I became a gangster : ) )
Any confirmation if this is still open?

NittyRanks on November 17, 2007 at 5:43 pm

Waring is closed actually I think. Coronet is demolished I think but I can check on it.

Gratty on November 13, 2014 at 11:35 pm

I lived a few blocks away from the Riviera in the second half of the 1970s, from about age 7-12. I frequented the weekend matinees – various Godzilla flicks, Laserblast, Yog: Monster from Space, at least one Lassie movie, many others lost in the decades – all presented with various preview material including cartoons and serials – I remember a run of the 1941 Captain Marvel serial at one point.

Pretty sure it was a buck – or maybe 99 cents – for a kid to get a matinee ticket.

I was aware of the porn fare being shown the rest of the time, but it didn’t really seem to matter.

I don’t live in Rochester anymore but I still have family there. When I visit I miss seeing it there on Lake Ave – and that it was torn down & replaced with a cookie-cutter drugstore is a bummer.

It’s still a favorite memory.

FlyersFan28 on February 22, 2015 at 5:46 am

I can remember going here in the very early 70’s to see Godzilla movies here on the weekend,,

Movie_Fan_Rochester on May 2, 2015 at 11:36 am

The Riviera was a great theatre that showed great movies. It is sad that they are not remembered, and I recall how sad it was to see if close and later erased from the landscape. My father would take our entire family there during the 1950’s and 60’s. Our Elementary School, Holy Cross, would have special outings there as well. This is where the Sound of Music was shown, and the screen was so large that you could almost feel like you were flying over the Alps. The music was so clear and real, that it was like an orchestra playing. Other movies I recall were The Alamo with John Wayne, Ben Hur, and as you can see in the photo, West Side Story. We saw lots of movies, and I can’t remember which theatre we saw them in, but there was The King and I, Oklahoma, Flower Drum Song, Bridge on the River Kwai, (little could anyone have guessed that Alec Guinness, the star of Bridge on the River Kwai, would later star as Obi Wan Kenobi, in Star Wars. We saw all the Disney Classics, animated and movies like Old Yeller, and Swiss Family Robinson, Dumb, Pinnochio, Snow White and what seems like countless others. I see these on television now, and they bring back such great memories, of great movies, happy family times, and beautiful large theatres. My parents have passed away, the the family has all moved away, but the memories still live on, as you were not only entertained by the movies, but the beauty of the theatres; yes, they were called theatres, then, not theaters. The Riviera was nice inside, not as classy as the RKO Palace on Clinton Ave. and Mortimer St., but nice and it was clean too. East of the theatre, where Ridgeway Ave., met West Ridge Rd., there was a diner, in the shape of a Railway Car. Not that it was ever that, it just had the shape, very similar to the one at South Goodman St., and South Clinton Ave., with the shinny stainless steel exterior and the food was good. We might go there sometimes before the movie or after, for a nice treat. There was also a White Tower, on West Ridge Rd. at Lake Ave., but it was torn down to make room for Piehler Pontiac’s Used car lot. The speed limit on Lake Ave., back then was 25 mph. The price compared to now was very inexpensive, but salaries were much lower too, so at the time, it was still expensive to take a family out for an evening at the Movies. People would also dress up, for the fancier movies, and they all seemed to end with the full of the sound of applause. As I write this, I am watching, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, which we saw as a family back in 1957, and I can still smell the fresh made popcorn.

DavidZornig on September 2, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Slightly clearer version of the Riviera profile photo added via Len Laurro.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 2, 2015 at 9:48 pm

According to a brief article about the Riviera Theatre in a document published by the Rochester Theatre Organ Society (PDF here) the house opened on Saturday, September 25, 1926. The Riviera had a 3/11 Marr & Colton organ.

rivest266 on January 21, 2016 at 3:53 pm

September 25th, 1926 grand opening ad in photo section.

rivest266 on January 23, 2016 at 4:28 pm

December 23rd, 1959 reopening ad also in photo section.

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