Press

Debate at St. John's Lutheran Church Victory for Affirmative

The Brotherhood of St. John's Lutheran Church had a live session last night with an unusually good attendance of members and visitors. After a spirited song service led by the chorister, W.W. Anderson, the devotionals were conducted by E.V. East. It was decided to call the February meeting "Rural Night" and make a special effort to secure the presence of men from the country. A quartet composed of W.W. Anderson, F.L. Banker, Bert Pierce and F.E. Buergin, sang two selections.

The principal feature of the program was a debate on the question, "Resolved, That the picture show is more detrimental to the boy than the open saloon was." The affirmative side was advocated by C.J. Jones, E.A. Podewils and E.W. St. John, while Fred Kaiser, O. K. Pursel and E.V. East argued for the negative. The judges were W.H. McCrory, E.L. Banker and W.W. Anderson.

The affirmative was given the unanimous decision of the judges.

(Three Rivers Commercial)

Fitzpatrick-McElroy Co. Will Begin Work Soon As Weather Permits

At a meeting of officials and representatives of the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company held in Chicago a few days ago, following which various details were cleaned up in Three Rivers, the present site of the Lintz store was chosen as the location for the new modern theater which the company will build in this city as soon as spring weather opens sufficiently to permit construction operations.

Luther H. Warner, manager of the Rex Theater for some years, and H. W. Coakley, also representing the Fitzpatrick-McElroy company here, attended the meeting in Chicago where every detail of the proposed theater was gone into and plans for the future consummated.

The location selected is 50 by 200 feet and the new building will cover the entire area. This will be a thoroughly modern, fireproof building which will house the theater, a modern store building and suites of offices on the second floor.

The building will be what is known as the new bleacher types of theater. There will also be one store building on the first floor and suites of offices on the second floor.
The theater itself will be of the most modern construction, complete with pipe organ and the very latest word in projecting equipment, while the seating will be opera chairs with every convenience for the comfort of the public. There will be installed the most modern type of ventilating and cooling system which will make the playhouse comfortable at any period of the year--in fact the house when completed will not be excelled--if equaled--by any theater in Kalamazoo or other southern Michigan city.

The stage will be of sufficient size for legitimate or vaudeville or the production of home talent plays, while the house will seat approximately 1,000 people.
Indicates Progress

When asked why the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company was ready to spend or advise the expenditure of something over $125,000 for a playhouse in Three Rivers, Mr. Coakley stated that they had made a careful survey of the city and its theatrical needs and the playhouse is the result of a careful study of that survey.

He said that the local industries have great promise for the future, both for immediate business and for general development, that good roads are bringing hundreds more people to the city almost daily and that it is the belief of his company is on the threshold of the greatest development and growth in her history. The new theater will be of real benefit to every businessman in the city nn that it will bring many people here who would otherwise be diverted to other places.

Rex to Continue

The company will continue the Rex Theater for the present at least. Work will probably start on the wrecking of the Lintz building about March first and it is the plan to hold the opening of the new theater about Labor day or early September.

Local investors have to a great degree made the new theater possible as there has been already subscribed more than half the amount it was expected would be raised in this city. The work has been particularly pleasing, Mr. Coakley said, because many local people are already stockholders in the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company and having received no less than 12 per cent for any one year, the investment has been very enticing. Subscriptions are still being received and Manager Warner at the Rex theater will give out any information desired.

Many Michigan Theaters

The company, which will erect, own and manage the local theater, is not a novice in the theater business as this is exactly the fiftieth house on the circuit and the twenty-second theater they have bought or built in Michigan.

They have apparently reduced the theater business to an exact science by which they proceed not as an experiment but rather with a definite knowledge as to the outcome.

Vaudette Building

Fitzpatrick-McElroy company has also held a lease on the Vaudette building. This building was recently sold to B.E. Smith and the theatrical company is releasing the lease. Mr. Smith will begin at once to remodel the store into a modern business property although he has not definitely decided just what business will locate there.

The Lintz Store

H.E. Lintz will continue the Lintz Store in the building to be wrecked as long as it is possible to continue and will probably be able to show goods through the spring season. He has not definitely determined at this time just where he will open the store following the wrecking of the Lintz building.

What theater Means

The new theater means much to the amusement loving public of this city. Manager Warner of the Rex has been giving the people of the community better amusement facilities than is usual in cities of the size of Three Rivers and rival productions running in much larger cities of the class of 25,000 population and up. This has been possible largely through the great buying power of the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company and with the new theater an actuality there will be shown here first releases contemporary with their appearances in Chicago or Detroit.

Representative Coakley, who has been connected with Fitzpatrick-McElroy for many years of the eighteen during which they have continuously been conducting a successful theatrical business, stated it is his personal opinion that Three Rivers with her great natural resources, the large industrial concerns firmly established, and the lesser ones getting under way, the city is facing the greatest period of growth and development in her history.

(Three Rivers Commercial)

Beautiful Decorations, Pipe Organ, Convenience, Make it a model

On April first when work begins on the new theater which the Fitzpatrick-McElroy company will erect in Three Rivers, Manager L. H. Warner of the Rex Theater will see the beginning of the realization of a vision which has been constantly before him for ten years.

The new theater which will be a model of its kind and of which the city may be proud will probably be completed late in August according to present plans of the builders.

The site of the theater is the former Lintz block and is 44 feet wide and 180 feet in depth.

The present front will be entirely removed and replaced with a new front of mottled facing brick and terra cotta window trim and cornice of ornamental design in cream colored finish. There will be one store to the south of the theater entrance 29 feet by 54 feet. The front of the store will have large plate glass windows set in copper frames and cream colored terra cotta base.

There will be a canopy the width of the entire front and projecting out over the edge of the sidewalk. This will be well lighted at all times.

The main entrance to the theater will be through a vestibule 15 feet by 15 feet to a lobby 15 feet wide leading to the theater auditorium. The vestibule will have ornamental ceiling, paneled walls and the floor of ornamental design. The ticket booth will be on the north side of the vestibule.

There will be two sets of doors at the entrance to the lobby, one set leading in and one set leading out. The lobby will have a dividing rail in the center so that the ingoing patrons can pass the outgoing ones without any confusion. The lobby will have a non-slip composition floor or will be carpeted. The walls and ceilings will be ornamental in design and decorated in artistic colors.

The entrance to the auditorium from the lobby will be through glass doors into the main aisle, which will be eight feet wide and will run across the end of the auditorium. This will be screened with a glass partition. The operating booth and the manager's office will be located over this aisle. There will be two aisles each four feet wide leading from the main aisle down to the front of the stage. The chairs, in rows of six on the sides with ten in the center row, will be large and will have upholstered seats. The aisles will be carpeted. The proscenium arch will be 23 feet by 17 feet and will have ornamental moldings and decorated in colors and gold bronze to form a beautiful frame to the picture screen.

The stage will be flanked with the organ chambers in the right and with the ventilating chamber on the left. These will have ornamental grilles and enriched cornices and moldings. The walls and ceiling of the auditorium will be paneled and decorated artistically. The lighting of the auditorium will be by four pendant electrollers, surrounded by domes with indirect lighting fixtures on the walls. The lighting of the vestibule and lobby will be by dome lights.

The operating booth will be equipped with the latest projecting machines and the very latest booth equipment.

The stage will be 20 feet deep, the full width of the house, and will be built high enough to accommodate the drops and fire screen. There will be dressing rooms and full stage equipment and the lighting will be modern throughout.

The organ will be a modern theater pipe organ by the W.W. Kimball company of Chicago. The ventilating system will be installed by the American Blower company of Chicago and the building will be heated throughout by direct steam radiation. A large Pacific boiler will be used for this purpose. There will be a ladies retiring room on the main floor and a gentleman's room in the basement with the most modern conveniences. The draperies, curtains, carpets, etc. will be artistic and good.

The front part of the present building will be remodeled into offices on the second floor with separates outside entrance on the south side. There will be strictly modern and up to date in every particular.

The owners, Fitzpatrick-McElroy and Company have instructed J. C. Brompton, their architect, to make this building first class and complete in every detail.

The name of the new theater has not been decided upon but many friends of Mr. Warner in this city and community have been gently insistent that it be named The Warner in honor of the man whose work and ability as a manager has made the new building possible. It is not violating confidence to state that he is one of the most able managers of more than fifty theaters on the Fitzpatrick-McElroy circuit and naming the new theater in his honor has been merited.

The theater is largely owned locally as there are many many stockholders in this city and vicinity. There is still some stock available, information regarding which may be secured from Manager Warner or Mr. Cokeley.

(Three Rivers Commercial)

Senior Member of Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company in City Yesterday

Yesterday afternoon the final details of the transfer of what is known as the Lintz store site to the Fitzpatrick-McElroy company were completed when Mr. McElroy of that company together with Attorney Harvey were in Three Rivers. The theater site extends from the Balch property on the north to the building occupied by the A. P. Dunnigan shoe store.

This assures beyond doubt that the new showhouse will be constructed and that residents of the community will have a thoroughly modern showhouse. Mr. McElroy, before leaving the city, expressed himself as being more than well pleased with the site and predicted a bright future for the entire city, which he considers one of the most beautiful on the circuit.

His last conference before leaving was with architect J. C. Brompton to whom he gave instructions to make the building comfortable, convenient and up-to-date in every appointment. Another element of interest is the fact that the stage will be fully equipped for legitimate or vaudeville attractions so that road shows may appear here as well as other stage attractions.

Manager Warner Continues

L.H. Warner, who has been manager of the Rex theater for the same company for many years, will continue as manager of the new theater. It is due, Mr. Warner, to state that not another city of the size of Three Rivers in the state has had the benefit of the uniformly high class productions which have been placed before the people of this city. With the new theater vaudeville will be introduced at sufficiently frequent periods to give a pleasing variety. The proposed theater has been the goal to which Mr. Warner has been working for many years and his friends congratulate him on the nearness of attainment.

E. Cokeley, who has been in the city promoting the enterprise, will continue here for a short time during which additional stock in the Fitzpatrick-McElroy company may be secured. The new theater will probably cost about $125,000. Work will begin immediately and the building rushed to completion.

(Three Rivers Commercial News)

Huge Cistern, Relic of 1859 Will not Have to be Disturbed

With Jack Morrow, foreman for the Kuehn, Jordan Co. of South Bend, on the job, work on the new Fitzpatrick-McElroy theater is progressing satisfactorily, according to J. C. Brompton, architect.

The force of workmen is being concentrated on getting in the footings for the walls of the new building. Six foot excavations are being made for the steel reinforced walls, which will support the auditorium of the theater. Yesterday one of the trucks hauling gravel for the job backed into one of the trenches and considerable difficulty was experienced in getting the car out.

High poles will have to be installed to carry electric and telephone lines over the rear of the building as the present lines are so low as to interfere with work. Poles and guy wires that set on the land which will be enclosed by the building will have to be removed.

A huge open cistern full of water, which served as a drain for the nearby stores, is located just at the edge of the south wall, but will not have to be disturbed in putting up the new building.

Is Relic of 1859

This huge brick walled cistern, one of four which in 1859 comprised part of the fire protection of the village of Three Rivers, holds approximately 3,000 gallons of water which could be forced out by a hand pump for protection in case of fire.

At that early date the fire company of the village was composed of 50 men, the station being the cooper shop of John Young, which was located in the alley between the Baptist and Methodist churches. The company was organized in 1859 and continued until 1890 when the water works plant was built on North Street. John Foster was a member of the company known as the St Joseph Fire Co. No. 1 in 1869 and is the only known member of that company still living in the city.

The pump which was used for taking the water out of the huge cisterns in case of fire weighed 3,500 pounds, and sixty men were supposed to furnish the power, although a smaller number could operate it. The pumps were sold on the merits of throwing water and the local team once won a prize in a contest with their engine at South Bend when a stream of water was thrown for a distance of 227 feet.

Town pumps were located in the street where the First State Bank now stands and in front of the store, which is now the Castner meat market. The large cisterns were out in the street, covered over, and after a fire when they had been pumped dry by the fire pump, they had to be re-filled from the town pump. Another of the cisterns is located back of the Balch furniture store.

(Three Rivers Commercial News)

Fitzpatrick-McElroy Experts Compliments Local Men on Workmanship

E. J. Miller, chief architect of the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company which is constructing a new theater here, was in Three Rivers yesterday and thoroughly went over the building with local architect J. C. Brompton and manager Luther Warner.

Mr. Miller highly complimented both men on what he considered both remarkable workmanship and progress in the short space of time. His study of the building brought no criticism and he plainly stated that he was more than pleased at everything, including the building design itself.

Manager Warner announced today that the contract had been let for the electrical lighting effects in the new theater. These lighting effects, according to design, will be as beautiful as those of any in the country, say experts, regardless of size and cost.

The front of the building is at present almost completed, as well as the rougher work inside. It presents itself to the public now as a thing of architectural beauty as well as stability. The finishing and the electrical work, the latter requiring a great deal of time and care, will be finished in as short a space of time as possible for the opening day.

(Three Rivers Commercial News)

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Decorate lobby

Floor Coverings and Furniture in Riviera Installing Seats

The new upholstered seats are being installed in the new Riviera Theatre this week, and the heavy plush floor covering has been spread in the lobby. With this progress, the signs point to the opening date about Wednesday, December 23. Fine upholstered settees have been placed in the lobby for patron's convenience. This and the carpet lend a very 'homey' effect to the new picture place.

Men are at work today installing the seats and the furnishings and putting on the finishing touches. The beautiful green and gold draperies are here and will be hung under the supervision of a company expert.

The interior, as well as the exterior, has taken on the appearance it should present on the opening night. Manager Luther Warner plans announcements on the opening later.

(Three Rivers Commercial News)

Riviera theater new Playhouse open Wednesday: Beautiful new playhouse realization of a nine year ideal and work

The beautiful Riviera Theater which opens to the public next Wednesday represents the realization of an ideal in the mind of a young man who began in a quiet way the conduct of an amusement enterprise in this city nine years ago.

In 1916 Luther Warner was a printer in the shop of the Commercial. He was intrigued greatly by the "movie game", which at that time was an enterprise with a more or less hazardous future in this city. Until that time the financial results of the theater business had not been particularly remunerative. Since that time a new epoch has been written.

Mr. Warner began with the old Vaudette. The present Smith building, in 1916. Within a short time he took over the management and control of the Rex theater after that show had run a course up and down with the latter relatively greater than the former. From that time the Rex theater has been prosperous, and in 1918 the Fitzpatrick-McElroy company bought the two houses and Mr. Warner threw his interests in with them.

By a system of giving the best productions and at the same time continuing prices reasonably low, the business has been uniformly successful and prosperous. It is a perfectly safe and true statement that nowhere, in a city even approximating the size of Three Rivers, are better shows offered the public at even an approach at the same prices.

However, throughout all these nine years of work in this city Mr. Warner has had an ideal. He has been constantly working for and seeking a new playhouse in keeping with the prosperity of the city and dignity and worth of the productions he is showing. The Riviera answers this desire. Here Three Rivers people have a most desirable theater building, a model of convenience, beauty and comfort as well as a monument to the enterprise of manager Warner and the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company.
The Theater Itself

The theater itself is more than merely a "movie house". The building under the skillful work of Architect J. C. Brompton has been developed into a work of art, both as to the interior and the exterior, at the same time losing nothing, but rather gaining in efficiency of operation and the comfort and convenience of its patrons.

Built throughout, thoroughly fireproof it impresses the spectator with an air of luxury and relaxation from the moment of entry into the long but wide spacious lobby, over carpets of velvety softness and into the theater itself with its harmonious decorations, rich hangings and curtains, soft restful lights, and comfortable seats caring for a thousand patrons as against less than five hundred at the old playhouse.

The unseen Work

Back of all this which the playgoer sees is the real power, the work, the construction, the effort which makes all a pleasing amusement palace.

Behind these scenes are found the latest equipment in stage effects, drops, curtains and screens, while the lighting effects are controlled at a switchboard which means little more than a mass of wires, switches and steel to the uninitiated. Below the stage are fine dressing rooms with every convenience, and at one side the heating plant separated and hermetically sealed into a room as nearly fireproof as modern construction can make it.

The operating room contains machines, which are almost human in their automatic devices speaking safety, speed and clear pictures. Inspection by the state fire marshal's department brought the statement from the inspector that no theater in the state was better built, or more thoroughly protected than the Riviera.
Other Features

Manager Warner's office is on the second floor near the operating room but placed so that he may see the stage or screen from his desk. There are suites of rooms on the second floor all of which is occupied by the Three Rivers College of Music and Fine Arts, an institution which although but a few weeks of age, has a register of students greater than even the promoters anticipated.

On the first floor is the Paradise of Sweets owned by the Sperou Brothers. This is beautifully equipped in a style in keeping with the entire construction and finish of the building.

Although the realization of the ideal or dream of Manager Warner when he began the theatrical operations in this city nine years ago is such as should make him rub his eyes and wonder if the marvels of Aladdin's lamp had been handed down to modern times and wrought its changes in Three Rivers.

(Three Rivers Commercial News)

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)

Fitzpatrick-McElroy Co. Circuit One of Largest in Country

Steady building, constructive planning and conservative thinking--aptly describes the history of the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company.

The founders of this company were men of broad vision and have never deviated from their first ideal, which was to build a most complete circuit of modern amusement palaces of a size and at a cost in proportion to the population of the community in which the company desires to operate.

These were the principles which helped this firm to grow from its original start fifteen years ago as owners of an "air dome" in Chicago--an open air picture theater seating only about 300 people--to one of the largest circuits of motion picture theaters in the United States.

It was in 1911 when Kenneth S. Fitzpatrick, president of the present Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company, and Blair McElroy, treasurer of the company, discovered their ideas on the future of the motion picture coincided perfectly and decided to work them out together.

With just enough capital to build only the enclosure for an open air theater, they started. That first motion picture of theirs would bring a laugh if it were set up beside one of the modern Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company theaters of today.

The enterprise was a success and right away they started to plan and to grow. Their next step was to take in with them men on whom they could count to use the same conservative constructive methods with which they desired to build their business--E.J. Miller, Fred C. Brinken and E. George Heck. It is an interesting and most unusual fact that these five men who formed the company fifteen years ago are still the officers of the present company--Kenneth s. Fitzpatrick as president, Blair McElroy, treasurer; E.J. Miller vice-president; E. George Heck, vice-president; and Fred C. Brinken, secretary.

The first move of these five men was to buy two more theaters in Chicago and a number in other towns in Illinois. Then they decided to spread out and ventured into Michigan and purchased a theater in Benton Harbor. Gradually they bought more and more until they had a network over Michigan. Today Fitzpatrick-McElroy company is represented in the Michigan towns of Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Alpena, Cadillac, Adrian, Traverse City, Big Rapids, Ludington, Manistee, and Three Rivers.

Still reaching out, they spread into Wisconsin. Recently, they have still further, and have acquired four theaters in Indiana, and are at this time building a fifth.

The policy of the Fitzpatrick-McElroy company has always been to search far and wide until they have found just the right location for each new theater. They are always careful to select a prosperous city or town, then they thoroughly study same as to its possibilities for an amusement palace. Once they have decided upon a town they become personally interested in it. They choose from that town the well founded local banking interests, the keenest business men and the most prominent citizens as their associates in arranging the details of the new theater and the financing of the enterprise. In this way, when the theater is completed and ready to serve the public, it has the most stable local associates as well as the Fitzpatrick-McElroy company behind it, and they are all boosters for the enterprise. These methods have always sported success. The past has proven that not a single failure has ever been charged up against this firm. This assures an investment which is very sound and desirable for those financially interested in the company, and at the same time secures the good will of the general public and gives them a theater which is a community center as well as the meeting place of the town.

The Fitzpatrick-McElroy company is now operating one of the most successful chain of theaters in this country, with forty-five theaters in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. The reputation of this firm in the trade is of the best, which makes it possible for them to arrange for the showing of the latest and most up-to-date picture productions, and at the same time plan for novelties and effects to accompany them. The erection of a theater of the type of the Riviera in a city of the population of Three Rivers, puts it on a par with the metropolitan cities of the United States.

"Right now the future of Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company is the brightest since its formation," said Mr. Fitzpatrick. "The moving picture industry is still just in its infancy and is now recognized by banking and investment houses as one of the safe and sound big businesses of the country. With the record and reputation this company has behind it, the outlook for the future is very promising. At the present time there are many new transactions under contemplation and the affiliations which are being made will be of untold value to the company, and will make it, without doubt, the largest theater company in the United States. A glance at the states in which the company is now operating shows that we are represented in the most fertile and stable sections of the United States.

"We want to thank our associates in Three Rivers for their support and help. Our appreciation is especially extended to George T. Wolf, of the First State Savings Bank and the prominent citizens of the town, who have cooperated with us. The people of Three Rivers should also feel most grateful to them for it was through their efforts and promises of cooperation that we were able to build a theater like the Riviera, the finest motion picture theater in Southern Michigan. They told us their desire for a theater of which they could be proud, a place where they could be proud, a place where they could have clean amusements and the best entertainment, and asked for the very finest theater we could build.

"We wish to take this opportunity also to thank the people of Three Rivers for the wonderful support which they have always given all our efforts. We want them to know we appreciate this and hope they will accept the Riviera Theatre as a token of Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company's appreciation of their patronage."

It was about six years ago Fitzpatrick-McElroy came to Three Rivers and took over the Rex Theater and also the Vaudette. For the past two years they have felt that the town had out-grown the Rex and were looking for a suitable location to give them the kind of theater they should have. When they found it they immediately started building and the Riviera Theatre certainly fulfills all desires of the people of Three Rivers for a beautiful amusement palace.

E.J. Miller

Vice President and building superintendent of the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Co., which position and duties he has performed from the formation of the company.

His ability and artistic taste as a builder mixed with years of business and theatrical experience in all its departments gives him a combination of experience few men in the theatrical business possess. His constant efforts and labors have been no small share in the success of the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Co.

Other columns of the Commercial chronicle the opening of the Riviera theater which occurs next Wednesday. In that connection it might be well to pause a moment and consider what this new theater building represents, what it means in its relation to the future of Three Rivers.

First of all the Fitzpatrick-McElroy company is an experienced theatrical organization which has been uniformly successful. With them the selection of a city in which to locate and a site in any particular city is not a matter of chance but follows carefully worked out plans of procedure gained through a period of years of experience. Location in any city only follows a careful survey of the possibilities from the standpoint of theater ownership and operation.

It follows that Three Rivers was selected as a location for a theater of their circuit because it offered excellent theatrical possibilities. Operation of the Rex theater for a period of years demonstrated this and the new Riviera follows a definite need for such a building.

This brings us to the crux of the situation. The executives of this theatrical company are keen business men. They have expressed definite, explicit confidence in this city and its future. They have, by their investment, given at once an example and a lesson in those three Rivers citizens who are faint hearted and luke warm in declaring their allegiance to and confidence in the city.

(Three Rivers Commercial News)

"No matter in which direction you look in the Riviera Theater a beautiful vista meets your eye. It may be the rich velvet curtain or the paneled wall decorated in soft pastel tints or the artistic proscenium arch, each one is a delight to the eye. But many people are going to be gazing upward at the great dome in the center of the ceiling.

This dome is painted in a sky effect of azure blue with fleecy white clouds passing over it. Colored lighting effects with dimmers have been installed in the theater, which can be manipulated so that forty different combinations of colors may be obtained. These colored lights playing over the dome give a harmony of color which is delightful.

First the deep blue of midnight may delight the eye, then the faintly tinted blue of the morning with the gold of the rising sun driving away the night. Following this comes the bright sunshine of high noon. Then the rosy hue of sunset and the delicate pinks abd violets of the afterglow slowly fading away and again merging into the shadows of the night.

The dome is outlined by an ornamental plaster bas relief border of deep ivory touched here and there with gold and further decorated with terra cotta and pastel blue.

These lighting effects are not only for use on the dome, but can also be thrown over the entire theater and the beautiful glow of changing colors shedding their soft light over the delicate colorings of the walls and ceiling make the theater a veritable fairyland."