Rio Theater

140 Parker Avenue,
Rodeo, CA 94572

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Rio Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This was a theater located in the town of Rodeo, on its main street (Parker Avenue) in its business district. Today, the theater is used as a church while there are many vacant storefronts in the surrounding area.

Any more information on this theater would be appreciated.

Contributed by scottfavareille

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

robertgippy on March 14, 2007 at 1:11 pm

The Rio Theatre, in Rodeo, was a very comfortable and cozy movie house. The picture from the website above is the Rio, but a newer looking exterior. The island box office, doors to enter the theatre (which were beautiful circular cut glass) and the glass display poster boards were removed. The interior of the theatre had a main floor and a stadium balcony. Maria Muldaur (Midnight at the Oasis fame) dedicated a song on one of her albums called “rio” as she used to attend this theatre as a child. The interior is not the same anymore, white washed out, the beautiful mermaid murals were all painted over. Years ago we saw the movie “deathrace 2000” there, and there were only 3 other people besides us in the audience. Sad.
But, the rio was a nice theatre.

kencmcintyre on February 7, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Here are two photos. The first is circa 1959. The second is undated:

kencmcintyre on February 7, 2008 at 3:50 pm

I think the ad and the photo are not supposed to be linked. The ad date is given as 1944.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 18, 2008 at 12:34 am

There were plans underway for a new movie theatre in Rodeo in 1936, when the October 17 issue of Motion Picture Herald said that Alexander A. Cantin was designing it. As the Rio was not opened until 1940, I don’t know if Cantin’s plans for the long-delayed project were used for the final building or not, but the clean style of the facade, with the strong vertical sign dominating, does resemble (on a smaller scale) a number of other Northern California theatres designed by the firm of Cantin & Cantin during the period, such as the State in Red Bluff, the Orinda in Orinda, and the Uptown in Napa.

celaniasdawn on March 27, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I went to the Rio theater once back in the late 60’s to see The Sons of Chaplain, a great rock group. Jerry Garcia was onstage with them, it was a good concert. It was a small theater the stage had pretty red draperies and gold tassles hanging down on the sides. I remember when Larry Singleton was paroled to Rodeo, the residents stirred up a furor, and the news showed the Rio marquee and it said “get out”

TLSLOEWS on March 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm

What a great story balconyclosed.

Mike_Moore on January 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm

In 1968-69 this theater was used to host rock shows. I remember seeing Al Kooper, Michael Bloomfield (recall Super Session LP) with Nick Gravenites. With all the seats removed, this was a great underground scene. There was quite a crowd, so I was hoping that this would turn into something like the Fillmore (SF). Too bad the owners could not continue as a rock concert venue.

mhall5 on February 29, 2012 at 11:36 pm

The Rio has a new fan page on facebook. Lots of stories of the renovation and then change into a nightclub.

slip on June 18, 2012 at 9:32 pm

celaniasdawn, Would like to discuss the Rio Theater with you. Please contact me at slipnut01 at gmail dot com Here’s some info and images of the Rio Theater:

rodeogirl on November 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm

The photo shown on the first page is not the Rio. I uploaded one taken in the late 70’s when it was a rock club. I grew up in Rodeo and went to movies as a kid. I saw Bambi there, and Jungle Book. It was a beautiful piece of Art Deco architecture, and I’m sad it’s gone.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater