Rivoli Theater

41 Springfield Street,
Chicopee, MA 01013

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Showing 18 comments

meredithlee on September 14, 2015 at 12:32 pm

I went by there yesterday and the box office is gone now, the doors are boarded up and the building is for rent. I posted 2 photos on the tab above.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 1, 2013 at 10:54 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive in IL has the MGM Theatre Report for the Rivoli. Located on Springfield St., Good condition, 1261 seats; has been showing MGM Product for 10 years. There is an exterior photo taken in May 1941. Competing theater is the Victoria.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on September 9, 2012 at 4:42 am

A recent article about the Rivoli says they hope to open the nightclub in six or seven months. http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/08/rivoli_owner_hopes_to_reopen_t.html

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 16, 2011 at 10:57 am

The Rivoli in Chicopee is listed under Western Massachusetts Theatres inc., 101 Bridge St., Springfield (Nathan Goldstein) in the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac. It was apparently too new (as the Elms Theatre) to appear in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook, but there was a Playhouse in Chicopee listed there, with 900 seats.

spectrum on January 31, 2008 at 7:28 am

According to that article the interior of the theater has been gutted – a shame. Much of the space has been renovated into offices and retail, but the new owner plans to have a theatre utilizing the stage house and front of the old auditorium to create a new venue for concerts, stand-up comedy and the occasional movie.

AlLarkin on August 15, 2007 at 5:25 pm

According to a newspaper article written today by Stephen R. Jendrysik, Chicopee Historian, in the Springfield, MA Republican, the Rivoli opened as the Elms Theater in 1927. Became the Rivoli in 1932. Originally ran silent movies but was the first Chicopee Theater to be equipped for sound. Theater screened MGM, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros. and RKO Radio pictures usually about a week after their showings in Springfield. The ceiling had stars and clouds. Ushers in their brass-buttoned uniforms escorted well-dressed patrons to their seats. Rich purple drapes surrounded the screen. Organ music was provided by Miss Rene Breglio prior to movie showings and the occasional silent picture. Mr. Jendrysik also mentions that the Exchange, Midway, Willow, Pastime, Wernick and Royal were other theaters operating from time to time in Chicopee.

AlLarkin on September 28, 2006 at 10:47 am

Latest progress report has the exterior completed, but the interior notta. According to a newspaper report Konrad must arrange additional financing in order to complete the project. Personally, I hope he isn’t in over his head. That building will be the focal point in the revitalization of downtown Chicopee.

GrandValleyHoldingsLP on May 28, 2006 at 5:47 pm

The 2/6 Marr and Colton, initally installed in the Rivoli, is now being installed in the Grand in East Greenville Pa (www.TheGrandTheater.org).

Thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Propst, we hope to have the instument playing Christmas 2006.

AlLarkin on November 30, 2005 at 10:04 am

There is much work being done, especially the exterior. I saw roofers working and windows in the small vacant retail shops replaced. The marquee has been taken down revealing the orginal one. The classic ticket booth, gone! Hopefully, these items will be preserved. The entranceway looks like a black hole now. Hopefully, that will change soon. I kind of think Konrad W. is taking the conservative route financially and doing gradual reconstruction.

joemasher on July 1, 2005 at 12:39 am

I stopped by the Rivoli the other day. The place is still closed, with neat, large piles of seat standards and armrests in the lobby. It does not look like much has gone on there recently. I recall seeing films there in the 80’s. On the faux balcony in the rear of the theatre there were two huge air conditioner units that pumped cool air in the house (See the excellent pics on Cinematour.com). Their sound was loud and disturbing to the movie. I also remember looking into the orchestra pit and seeing piles and piles of empty cardboard boxes and other junk. A lot of the seats were broken.
I frequently sought to go to Western Massachusetts Company locations as they were all extremely run down and I couldn’t believe they were allowed to remain in operation. Around that time (mid 80’s) they were operating the Palace and Showplace in Pittsfield, the Showplace and Garden in Greenfield, the Casino in Ware, the Bing in Springfield, the Calvin in Northampton, and the Amherst Cinema. Some of their closed locations included the fabulous Paramount in Downtown Springfield, the Capitol in Pittsfield, and the Victory in Holyoke.

AlLarkin on May 17, 2005 at 1:55 pm

Remember slumming at the Rivoli during the late ‘80’s to early '90’s. Two bucks for a major flick, stale popcorn, back breaking seats, sticky floors, lighted stars in the ceiling naturally dimmed because of dead flies and rodents trapped under glass, the loud roar of the original 1928 projector grinding out every other reel complete with a bell, that sounded like the one Mrs. Smith used to call first grade recess, alerting the projectionist that a change-over was upcoming. The elderly theater manager sat in the back of the theater. I knew the last showing was about to end because the audience in the back half of the place was treated to the aroma of her cigarette. While exiting, regulars were quizzed by her on their opinion of the movie. The place was a true movie palace in its day.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on December 26, 2004 at 4:48 am

Over a year after renovations have begun the building’s exterior looks no different. Even the marquee lettering advertising movies and their admission prices has not changed.

JennGosselin on November 11, 2004 at 11:26 am

Hi, I am looking for anyone with any information on the Theater. History, owners, etc… Any help will be so much appreciated!! :)

Robb on October 19, 2004 at 12:57 pm

The Rivoli was a place I used to walk to as a kid. Back then the Saturday matinee was just 25 cents. I was in shock when it jumped to 35 cents. In a silent protest I collected ticket stubs off the floor and perfected a way of gluing 2 halves together to make a new ticket. The bond was so good that the attendant never caught on. Back in the early 60’s these Saturday matinees were jam packed with kids. The older kids were always in the back left section making out. The Rivoli was never known for its comforts. It had uncomfortable wooden-backed chairs and not much space for 6 footers. I don’t remember when they gave up the kiddie matinees but they became a discount theater for second run films by the late 70’s. The place was famous for it’s sticky floors and the occasional bat that flew in front screen casting shadows. In those last years one of the projectors was always out of focus. It seemed to be a downward spiral. Not enough money coming in to make repairs, yet watching movies there was hardly a bargain if every other reel was fuzzy. None the less I miss the place. Some work continues on the nightclub. Old theater seats have been removed and now can be seen piled up in the old lobby.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on July 13, 2004 at 7:27 pm

Anyone know if this has reopened as a nightclub or did they run out of money midstream?

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on December 8, 2003 at 7:12 pm

Konrad Wargulewski bought the theatre this fall. He has sent me photos of it since they started to renovate it. All seats and equipment have been removed at this point. He is going to run it as a nightclub.

William on November 20, 2003 at 3:48 pm

The Rivoli Theatre seated 1235 people.

Jayluippold on August 11, 2002 at 7:56 am

Any information on Springfield Theatres-Arcade, Bijou, Capital, Loew’s Poli….