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Rivoli Theater, Pendleton

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Rivoli Theater, Pendleton

Statistics

  • Location: 355 S Main Street, Pendleton
  • Built: c.1900; theater opened 1922
  • Architect: Unidentified
  • Designation: National Register of Historic Places
  • Significance: The Rivoli Theater is a contributor to the South Main Street Commercial Historic District and an integral part of the streetscape in downtown Pendleton

News and Updates

April 19, 2016

Coalition says restored Rivoli Theater could open as soon as 2020

March 11, 2015

Rivoli Preservation Plan Brochure (pdf)

March 2015:

Rivoli restoration revs up

December 2014:

Architectural and engineering services being sought for next phase of rehab

April 2, 2014:

Company Camera: Pendleton’s Rivoli Theater

May 31, 2013:

Additional Debris Removed From Theater

November 21, 2012:

Volunteers remove 20,000lbs of non-historic debris from building

September 18, 2012:

Restore Oregon awards $2,500 grant for removal of non-historic façade

August 21, 2012:

i-Ten Associates donates scan and 360 panorama of the Rivoli interior.

August 11, 2012:

Saturday 9AM to 5PM: Community invited to volunteer with interior cleanup to prepare for digital laser scan of building.

July 17, 2012:

Re-roofing the Rivoli signals fresh start

July 1, 2012:

Rivoli Theater Restoration Coalition receives keys to building.

June 13, 2012:

Reviving the Rivoli in Pendleton
Outlet: Daily Journal of Commerce

June 2, 2012:

Rivoli Inspection Done; closing just a step away
Outlet: rivolitheater.org

May 23, 2012:

Our Views: Rivoli Theater is endangered, but will survive
Outlet: East Oregonian

May 23, 2012:

Rivoli lands on Oregon’s most endangered places list
Outlet: rivolitheater.org

May 12, 2012:

Rivoli deal all but done Friday in Pendleton
Outlet: East Oregonian

May 9, 2012:

Sale of the Rivoli Theater to the Rivoli Theater Restoration Coalition may occur by month’s end.

History

Originally constructed as a one-story commercial building in c.1900, the Rivoli Theater building has evolved with the rest of downtown Pendleton since the early part of the 20th Century. In 1922 the four storefronts that occupied the building were removed, an additional two stories were added, and the building was reinvented as the Rivoli Theater, a movie house for Pendleton.

During the 1920s through the 1940s, the Theater played everything from vaudeville and silent movies to touring Hollywood films. As with many of the state’s downtown movie palaces, the theater suffered during the postwar years, undergoing a significant ground-floor remodel and, eventually, closure in the 1970s.

In its heyday, the Theater served as a social and economic center of community life in Pendleton and Eastern Oregon.

Why is it Endangered?

Beginning about ten years ago, a group of concerned community members approached the owner of the Theater to purchase and rehabilitate the building. Although those early negotiations were not fruitful, a renewed interest by the nonprofit Rivoli Theater Restoration Coalition in 2010 and 2011 has led to new community energy to see the Theater’s doors open once again.

While the owner of the Theater applied for city funding to demolish the property in early 2012, a deal to purchase and transfer the Theater to the Coalition is on the brink of becoming reality. Even with ownership secured, the Coalition needs broad support and technical assistance to plan and fund the rehabilitation and reuse of this downtown Pendleton gem.

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