3800 42nd Avenue S,
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Riverview Theater (Official)
Architects: Jack J. Liebenberg
Firms: Liebenberg and Kaplan
Styles: Streamline Moderne
In the late-1940’s, Sidney and William Volk wanted to replace their aging Falls Theatre (see separate page on Cinema Treasures) which was located on Minnehaha Avenue. They contracted with the premier theatre architects of that period, Liebenberg and Kaplan, to build one of the finest theatres of that day - the Riverview Theater.
When it opened December 29, 1948, the Riverview Theatre was treated to a huge debut that was featured in national publications. The theatre’s first film was “June Bride” starring Bette Davis and Robert Montgomery.
The Riverview Theatre has survived for decades and looks much the same as it did in the 1950’s, with the same furnishings, including imported Italian marble tables and an auditorium that features a backlit proscenium. You can have your choice of over 700 seats on either the main floor or in the stadium seating section.
New high-backed seats were installed in the spring of 1999. In addition, the space between rows on the main floor was increased to provide more leg room. Stadium seating, although the new megaplexes are advertising it as a new concept, has been available at the Riverview Theatre since 1949.
The Riverview Theatre was modernized in 1956.
Today, a trip to the Riverview Theatre is like a trip back to the 1950’s. The house retains its 1950’s style and the walls of the lobby are lined with vintage photographs, many in full colour, taken of the theatre in 1956.
It remains an extremely popular theatre and it is often hard to find a seat on weekends.
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