Rivoli Theater

208 Ferry Street,
Newark, NJ 07105

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Additional Info

Architects: Henry Baechlin, Frank Grad

Functions: Furniture Showroom

Styles: Greek Revival

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Rivoli Theater

The Rivoli Theater was opened in 1920. Second-run house serving the Polish and German immigrant community during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The area changed dramatically and is now a thriving Portuguese and Spanish neighborhood.

I remember only the majestic Greek columns on the exterior of the building and a very ornate mezzanine lobby. As far as I know, the building is still pretty much intact and serves as a furniture showroom.

Contributed by jim thatcher

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

teecee on July 5, 2005 at 1:44 pm

A Wurlitzer organ, opus 512, was installed in this theater on 1/27/1922.

Franksantos7 on July 15, 2005 at 11:40 am

For the record, the Rivoli is now a Furniture store. The bank is next door. I know. I was there every Saturday morning in the mid to late 50’s.

I can still remember the ticket booth on the right, walking through the ornate doors, up the slight inclined floor, the snack bar on the left. A quick right, then left into the theater, or right at the snack bar, then right again up the stairs to the mezzanine.

At that time the afternoon’s delight was 25 cents.

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 5:51 am

Listed as open in the 1944 FDY. Listed in the 1961 FDY as part of Triangle-Liggett Theatre Service.

teecee on August 20, 2006 at 1:44 pm

Occupied by:
Leslie Dinettes
206-208 Ferry Street, Newark, NJ 07105, 973-589-6549

KAP on December 4, 2006 at 8:47 pm

Back in the 50’s and early 60’s the theater showed great sci-fi and Horror films on Saturday mornings. Sitting in the Rivoli and watching and enjoying those films probably influenced me into becoming the film producer I am. Thank you Rivoli of Ferry Street!

AndrewBarrett on September 19, 2008 at 5:51 am

A Wurlitzer theatre organ, style 210 Special, which MIGHT be the one from this theatre is for sale, check it out:

View link

AndrewBarrett on September 19, 2008 at 5:53 am

I’m sorry, my bad, wrong theatre. The theatre I mean is also called the “George W. Newman Theatre” and is in Rutherford.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 14, 2012 at 5:37 am

Here’s an item from the March 20, 1920, issue of Real Estate Record and Builders Guide:

“Henry Baechlin, 665 Broad st Newark, has completed preliminary plans for a 1-sty brick, limestone and terra cotta moving picture theatre, 105x165 ft, seating 3,300, in Ferry st, between Polk and Merchant sts, for Joseph Stern, 207 Market st, owner. Cost, about $350,000.
I’ve looked for an opening date for the Rivoli, but haven’t been able to find one. If it opened not too many months after the date of the magazine item, that would be an indication that Baechlin probably also did the final plans.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 31, 2012 at 8:45 pm

The May, 1921, issue of The Bridgemen’s Magazine has an item which is surely about the Rivoli:

“Theatre— F. Grad, architect and engineer, 245 Springfield avenue, opens bids March 18, building brick and stone, brick foundation, on Ferry street and Wilson avenue, for Mate Bros., Farley avenue. About $200,000.”
Frank Grad and Henry Baechlin collaborated on the design of Newark’s Symphony Hall, and on at least two other projects in Newark that I’ve found references to: an (apparently unbuilt) exhibition hall in 1922, and an office building in 1927. It’s possible that there were more.

ChrisMarashlian on November 20, 2016 at 8:19 pm

Remember going to the Rivoli for Saturday afternoon horror matinee movies from the mid to late 50s. Matinees were 15 cents and later Saturday evening shows were 25 cents. Great memories of those days live on!

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