River Hills Theatre & Riviera Theatre
222 Crocker Street,
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Previously operated by: Carmike Cinemas
News About This Theater
- Apr 1, 2013 — "2001: A Space Odyssey" 45th Anniversary – The Cinerama Engagements
- May 23, 2012 — Celebrating the Original STAR WARS on its 35th Anniversary
- May 21, 2010 — Happy 30th, "Empire"
- Aug 21, 2009 — "Alien" 30th Anniversary
- Apr 9, 2009 — Remembering Cinerama (Part 26: Des Moines)
- May 25, 2007 — Happy 30th, Star Wars!
The River Hills Theatre & Riviera Theatre is a rare example of two theatres, in the same building, which operated under different names; and not as a twin.
The River Hills side was designed to show single-strip Cinerama films and the Riviera Theatre side was designed to show regular movies in a twin configuration.
The theatres were built by the former Davis Theatres at the same time as the Riviera Theatre in Sioux City.
Sadly, the River Hills Theatre & Riviera Theatre was closed by Carmike Cinemas. It was demolished in March 2002 and the Wells Fargo Arena has been built on an expanded site.
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Recent comments (view all 20 comments)
As mentioned earlier, the Wells Fargo Arena now stands where the River Hills/Rivera Twin used to be.
Newspaper ad from the Des Moines Register, May 27,1977
“Begins Tonight! Star Wars. Star Wars will presented with DOLBY SOUND a special new sound system that the River Hills has installed that will astound your mind with the ULTIMATE QUAD SYSTEM. Adults $3.00, Children under 12 $1.25”
Playing at the Riviera Twin- The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.
Ads for films playing at the theatre – http://cineramahistory.com/riverhills.htm
I use to work there back in the mid to late 70’s! Great memories of when movies ran…for a YEAR! Like Star Wars. I remember the 1 year anniversary. We employees got dressed up like the characters.
It may have shown a Cinerama film, but it would have been a single strip print. This theater was not built for the full 3-projector setup. The curved screen was also not deep enough for the full 146º wrap around image. It is not only closed, but sadly, it was torn down years ago to make room for an arena.
Demolished March 2002.
The “Hills” opened with JJ3 Centurys with Futura II lamphouses. Century 6 track system, 300 watts. Screen was 88 feet with 22 foot depth of the curve providing a 72 foot chord. Screen remaine din place until closing. Sound system was upgraded to CP200 with all accessories driving BGW 250D amplifiers bi-amped with BGW 750D’s driving former Sensurround subwoofers. All stage drivers converted to JBL with 8 Altec A-7 surrounds. Platter sintalled with Strong Super 80 burning 6K bulb. New custom ground Isco lenses replace original Cinerama lens. Riviera side ultimately received the #2 Century JJ3 with CP100 to allow for 70MM move over from the Hills.
A chronology of 70mm presentation history in Des Moines has recently been published. River Hills is mentioned numerous times.
TimReed: What films played in 70mm on the Riviera side?
MSC77: To my knowledge no 70MM runs occurred on the Riviera side