Special Musical Program an Added Attraction for Every Show
The world is music hungry at present and no entertainment is complete unless there is good music. It may be the Grand Opera the music lovers long for. It may be the latest jazz the pleasure seekers crave--but music they must have. It makes no difference whether they understand music or not; they have the rhythm, the harmony and the atmosphere created by an understanding musician.
The people of Three Rivers may count on a treat when the new Riviera opens for it is not only motion pictures which they can look forward to, but also grand music. They are promised entertainment such as has never been in this city before--for a gigantic pipe organ is one of the show things of the new house and there will be a musical program at every performance which will delight all music lovers.
When the plans for the Riviera were made, one of the most carefully thought out items was the space for the pipe organ and a special organ niche was designed at the right of the stage. Here has been placed a $15,000 unit organ of the very latest design. This model, called "the organ with the human voice", is equipped with all the special effects so that chimes may be made to ring out through the auditorium, or the silver tones of the harp, or the soft melody of the violin, the melodious xylophone, the sonorous tones of the drum, or made to sound as if a hidden singer were accompanying the picture. The full, deep tones of the organ mingling with these other instruments make one believe they are hearing a full orchestra.
Seated at the console will be a talented organist with a wide experience in accompanying pictures--one who is capable of showing off the power and charm of the instrument and also fitted to express the sentiment of motion picture. His repertoire is unlimited ranging from the arias of Grand Opera to the latest jazz. The overture will be carefully selected to give good music to those who appreciate it, and the synchronizing of the music with the pictures will prove that a good picture may be made twice as interesting if an understanding organist is interpreting the picture.
Largest Electric Sign in 3 Rivers Riviera Theater
The immense electric sign of the Riviera Theater turns St. Joe Street into a Great White Way. For blocks each way this flashing sign can be seen and the attention of motorists coming into town from all directions are going to notice the bright glow in the sky. Turning the corner onto St. Joe Street they will be met with the dazzling brightness of the sign of the Riviera Theater as it towers over the canopy of the theater.
Quite the brightest spot in town, the Riviera sign makes of the block around the theater. This giant of steel and lamps will flash and beckon one and all to come and enjoy the beautiful new theater and be highly entertained.
This sign, which was especially designed for the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company, rises twenty feet above the canopy over the sidewalk in front of the theater, and spreads six feet across. Four hundred and ninety-two electric lights are necessary to illuminate it.
The letters in the word "Riviera" are thirty inches high. The high speed rotating border is operated by a motor driven flasher and myriads of lights are used to make it flash forth. The letters in the firm name-- Fitzpatrick-McElroy--are eight inches in height and of raised oplex glass illuminated from the interior so that the letters can be read from both sides.
Riviera Theater Stage Equipped For Vaudeville
While the Riviera Theater was planned primarily for a motion picture theater, when the question of the space for the stage came up it was decided that it should be built with the idea of being equipped to handle any kind of entertainment the people of Three Rivers might desire.
Consequently the stage has been constructed on a large enough scale to accommodate any road show or large vaudeville acts with ample space for any equipment or sets for vaudeville companies. It has also been equipped with all facilities for rapid and easy shifting of scenes and change of backgrounds, and a special arrangement of footlights so that dramatic shows can be handled just as well as in the larger cities. Six dressing rooms, modern in every detail, have been placed directly under the stage.
Manager Warner says he means to make good use of this spacious stage--which means there will be many unusual attractions and big special performances in the Riviera Theater, and he hopes to bring to Three Rivers a form of entertainment which has never before been shown in this city.
Plans are already being laid in the Chicago offices of the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company for booking this town vaudeville acts and interesting specialties such are pleasing their patrons in other theaters on the Fitzpatrick-McElroy circuit.
Material For New Theater Furnished By Various Firms
The general contractors for the construction for the new Riviera Theater was the Kuhn-Jordan Co. of South Bend, Indiana, who specialize in the construction of large buildings.
Structural steel in the building was fabricated, furnished and installed by the Elkhart Bridge and Iron Co., Elkhart, Indiana.
William Otterstein & Son of Mishawaka, expert heating engineers, installed the heating plant and plumbing in the new theater.
The General Asbestos & Supply Company of South Bend, Indiana, was the the contractor for the Johns-Manderville asbestos roofing which covers the entire building.
The Brehmer Electric Company of South Bend had the contract for the installation of all equipment throughout the theater.
Marble and tile was furnished and installed by the South Bend Marble and Fireplace Company.
Lumber in the new structure was furnished in part by W.M. Hazen, Inc., and J.W. Olvier Lumer CO. of Three Rivers.
The sheet metal work was manufactured by J.C. Lauber & Co., sheet metal contractors of South Bend, Indiana, and installed by Guy L. Petre of Three Rivers, who also furnished a portion of the material.
The ventilating system was installed by the Kalamazoo Blow Pipe Company, who also furnished the vent heating system for the tempering of the air introduced through the ventilators.
The Indiana Lumber & Manufacturing Co., of South Bend, Indiana, furnished the whole of the mill work and cabinet work installed throughout the building.
The Michigan Gas & Electric Co. furnished and installed the lighting fixtures in the store and office building as well as the Westinghouse Mazda Lamps for the entire theater building. They also rendered valuable service in their line throughout the construction of the theater.
The interior decorating was done by Henry Chapel of Chicago who is the decorating contractor for the whole of the Fitzpatrick-McElroy chain of theaters.
Latest Designs in Equipment Assures Comfort to Patrons
The main idea of Fitzpatrick-McElroy in planning the equipment of the Riviera Theater was to make the stay of their patrons in the theater as pleasant as possible. They figured there were a number of things which would add much to their comfort, and all make and designs of theater equipment were examined but only the latest and best designs accepted.
To begin with, the audience must have comfortable chairs to sit in. The program at the Riviera will continue for an hour and a half, and to sit still restfully for that length of time the chairs must be made with an idea of comfort. The seats which have been placed in the Riviera are commodious and upholstered in padded leather. They have been set a good distance apart so there is no discomfort when people are forced to pass when coming in or going out. Also, there is a broad middle aisle and two side aisles so there will be no congestion and the view of those seated will not be obstructed while people are finding places.
The second factor to be considered in promoting the enjoyment and guarding the health of the patrons is the ventilating system. The apparatus which has been installed guarantees absolutely fresh air in the theater at all times. There is a suction fan at one end of the building which sucks out the foul air, and at the opposite end a powerful blower which brings into the theater 25,000 cubic feet of fresh pure air every minute and a complete change every few minutes. This system also ensures a cool theater in the summer while a comprehensive heating system promises a cozy even temperature in the winter no matter how far the thermometer drops outside.
And now, seated in comfortable chairs in a well-ventilated, even temperatured theater the audience is ready to enjoy the pictures. To insure a perfect picture, clear in every detail, two of the latest type projection machines have been installed in the big projection room at the rear of the theater, and an especially designed screen built in so a clear smooth running picture is assured.
(Three Rivers Commercial News)