Rivoli Revue Seeks To Resurrect Historic Theater & Neighborhood

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

(The Rivoli then and now, courtesy of the Indy Star and Prairie Ghosts.)

Lovers of cinema, history, and urban renewal will gather at the Athenaeum on Saturday, March 3 for the second annual Rivoli Revue. Presented by the Rivoli Center for the Performing Arts, Inc, the Rivoli Revue aims to raise funds for the restoration of the historic Rivoli Theater.

The Rivoli Theatre is an artifact from a time when Hollywood studios controlled not only the production of feature films but their distribution and screening as well. The Rivoli was constructed in 1927 at 3155 E. 10th St. by Universal Chain Theatrical Enterprises and was the first Universal theater in Indianapolis. The Spanish mission-style building seated upwards of 1,000 patrons and was a true movie palace, featuring Indiana limestone, ornate plaster and woodwork, leaded glass windows, copper sashes, brass hardware, terrazzo floors, and ivory bathroom fixtures.

Sold by Universal in 1937, the building passed through the hands of several private owners and continued to play host to films as well as live musical performances by artists such as John Mellencamp, Quiet Riot, The Cult, Supertramp, Kansas, Linda Ronstadt, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, and Bruce Springsteen. The theater closed for good in early 1992 and has been decaying steadily ever since.

The Rivoli Revue features performances by members of the Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra, musical duo Patchwork, Creme de les Femmes burlesque group, Bennu Dancers belly dancing troupe, South Six 5 band, singers Krista Gordon and Amada Capps and dancer Muriel Greenlee.  There will also be a silent auction and sampling of Sun King beers in the lobby starting at 6 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m., tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

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