Rivoli Theatre

1806 Washington Street,
Two Rivers, WI 54241

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Additional Info

Architects: Rudolph M. Hanson

Functions: Retail

Styles: Italian Renaissance

Nearby Theaters

RIVOLI Theatre; Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

The Rivoli Theatre was opened in December 1922 with seating listed at 1,000. It was located on Washington Street between 18th Street and 19th Street.

The Rivoli Theatre closed in the late-1950’s and has since been converted to retail use. The building has been given a new modern look from the ground to the second story. The stage house can still be seen from the rear.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Here is a 1943 photo of the Rivoli Theatre. It had a handsome facade of brick and terra cotta. It’s hard to tell from the limited view the photo provides, but the style looks to have been predominantly Italian Rennaisance. I haven’t found any interior photos.

The Rivoli opened in 1922, according to the final paragraph of this web page. An announcement that the theater was being planned appeared in the January 28, 1922, issue of The American Contractor:

“Theater. 65x120. Washington St., Two Rivers, Wis. Archt. Rudolph M. Hansen Co., 113 Walnut St., Green Bay. Owner Rivioli Theater Co., care Ed Miquette, Two Rivers. Gen. contr. let to L. M. Hansen Co., 113 Walnut St., Green Bay. Drawing plans.”
A history of the Two Rivers Opera House (7MB PDF here) has a photo of the Rivoli under construction (about halfway through the document.) It says that that the Rivoli opened in December, 1922, with a vaudeville show and the feature film Rich Men’s Wives. The Rivoli was equipped with a Barton organ.

The Rivoli closed for about two years in the late 1950s, but was reopened in 1959 according to an item in the May 2 issue of The Milwaukee Sentinal that year. I’ve been unable to discover how long the theater remained open after that, but I doubt it was very long. When the subsequent occupant, Evans Department Store, closed down a couple of years ago, it had been in operation for 47 years. The building is currently vacant and on the market. The current interior can be seen in this small PDF from the city’s economic development department. The interior has been altered as drastically as the facade, and is unlikely to be suitable for theatrical use. It looks like the auditorium was gutted and converted into two floors of retail space.

LouRugani on March 30, 2017 at 4:59 pm

In the 1950s, the staff of the Rivoli Theatre portrayed ghosts for the Municipal Recreation Department’s Halloween Saturday afternoon show, the Manitowoc Herald Times reported on October 30, 1953 saying, “Eight young misses will portray the roles of ghosts in serving as ushers at the event for the kiddies. Their adopted theme song will be ‘A-Haunting We Will Go’.” The ushers for the evening included Natalie (Spooks) Lueck, Betty (Spirits) Fronk, Nancy (Shadow) Henrickson, Dorothy (Goblin) Shavlik, Shirley (Screams) Richard, Shirley (Shreaks) Beth, and Lou Ann (Groans) Prausa. The 1953 feature was the “Houdini Story”, “with its death-defying feast of the great escape artist of all time, the late Harry Houdini of Appleton” and “Disaster in the Stratosphere” (the sixth chapter of “The Lost Planet”), “Hollywood at Play”, and three cartoons. A costume contest was held with “numerous worthwhile prizes from Two Rivers merchants.” The article went on to report that “more than a hundred children have appeared in unique and unusual attire, with winners being selected by the applause of the audience.” All entrants through eighth grade were required to sign a “good behavior” pledge at their school, agreeing to exhibit proper behavior for Halloween and not be involved in vandalism or nuisance behavior, common at that time. Admission was fourteen cents, doors opened at 2:45 pm, the entertainment began at 3:15 and lasted about three hours, following which each participant received a treat from the Two Rivers Recreation Department. “Since its inception several years ago provision of this entertainment for the children has reduced Halloween nuisances to a minimum, according to the Police Department. Two Rivers boys and girls find this amusement far more attractive than the trick-or-treat tactics of prior years.”

The 1954 Recreation Department’s Halloween festivities were held on November 1, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Two Rivers Recreation Department. Over 2,000 “good behavior” pledges were disbursed at local schools. Admission was 10 cents.

The RIVOLI, with its 1,000 seats, held its popular Halloween celebrations until it closed in the late 1950s. Afterwards the building became Evan’s Department Store and later the Two Rivers Christian Center Thrift Store.

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.