Rio Theater

20396 Bohemian Highway,
Monte Rio, CA 95462

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Trolleyguy on August 28, 2023 at 7:47 pm

Despite surviving a flood, the next big threat is that the theatre and adjacent property are for sale. Story here

stevenj on February 28, 2019 at 7:45 pm

From helicopter or drone TV coverage of the Russian River flood that I saw this evening on local (SF) news this theatre appears to be inundated.

russellquinn on April 30, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Only 6 days to save this movie theater. Pledge today! Save the Rio!

Mikeyisirish on June 27, 2012 at 10:23 am

A few 2012 photos can be seen here, here and here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I’ve just realized that if you use the pavement arrow in Street View to move two clicks left, a thumbnail photo will appear, and if you click that thumbnail it will display the photo, plus thumbnails for more than a dozen additional photos of Monte Rio, including several more depicting the theater. The photos include links to their sources, which look better and can often be further enlarged.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Google Maps is way off on this theater’s location. Searching at Google Maps' own web site, the address 20396 Church Street fetches the correct location. That’s the address Google will have to be sent, even though the theater itself lists Bohemian Highway as the name of its street. I managed to find the Street View of the theater and update it, but it was a really long drive, at the corner of D Street a mile or more north of the location of the pin on the map.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm

The July 9, 1949, issue of Boxoffice magazine published an item saying that the Rio Theatre in Monte Rio had recently opened. Owners of the 500 seat independent house were S.A. Bartlett and S.A. Bartlett Jr., formerly operators of a theater in Grass Valley.

kencmcintyre on October 20, 2005 at 4:28 pm

I can’t help but think of a clothing store that my mother used to patronize in South Jersey called the Ideal – Their slogan was “It’s more than a quonset hut!”, but it really wasn’t. There were quite a few quonset huts still existing in New Jersey in the 1960’s, but I think they are all gone now.

ilind on September 25, 2005 at 6:28 pm

Here’s a link to a photo of the theater taking in the summer of 2003:

View link

Patsy on April 14, 2005 at 12:58 pm

In my theatre travels I have only seen one other Quonset hut style theatre and it is now an Ace Hardware warehouse in Hartwell GA. The front facade is still intact. The marquee is still there, but isn’t being used to at least advertise hardware specials in neon!

GaryParks on July 1, 2004 at 1:45 pm

I most heartily agree that the Rio is a wonderful and cozy, mom and pop place. I saw Disney’s “Tarzan” there a few years ago. While we waited for the movie to start, the operators showed slides of their trip to Scotland on the big screen!
While the theatre is lovingly decorated inside and out with murals by local artists, the simple historic original details of the building are maintained as well—simple neon bedecked vertical sign and marquee, and the moderne stucco facade.
Also of interest are painted notations near the entrance showing flood levels of years past when the nearby Russian River has flooded the town. The theatre owners got wise and installed a rollup screen, speakers which can be hoisted out of harm’s way on pulleys, hard plastic seats (not bad at all to sit in), and ultra durable carpet. The Rio is a survivor.