“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pendleton in Umatilla County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)

Rivoli Theater

Rivoli Theater Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 30, 2017
1. Rivoli Theater Marker
Inscription.  This building started out as a single story building built between 1897 and 1900 to house four store fronts. In 1900, one of the storefronts became "The Pastime" and was a popular nickelodeon owned by the Matlock Family. The single-story building was remodeled and became The Arcade Theatre showing two and three reel silent movies. By 1921, the Matlock family owned the whole building and remodeled it again adding a second story to become a grand movie theatre which could also accommodate stage shows. Renamed the Rivoli, it had a 50' x 22' stage and five modern dressing rooms beneath the main floor. The remodel cost $110,000 and included a $19,000 pipe organ. Brussels carpet covered the foyer, aisles and stairways. The main floor seated 410, while the balcony could hold 400. The theatre office and restrooms were located on the mezzanine level. "Talkies" (movies with sound) came to the Rivoli in 1929. The films were often accompanied with vaudeville performances. The "theatre district" in Pendleton from 1900 through the 1930's was all located in the 300 block of South Main, with the second largest theatre being the Alta Theatre on Dorion Avenue
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across from City Hall, but the Rivoli was the major anchor. The Rivoli ran first-run movies, while the Alta showed the B movies and westerns. By 1935 there were only three in Pendleton: The Rivoli, The Alta, and the United Artist located at Main and Byers Avenue. In 1958 the Matlock family sold the theatre. Various succeeding owners attempted to modernize the building, renaming it the "Centre" theatre, dividing it into a twin cinema. In the 1980's, the balcony was removed in an attempt to turn it into a dinner theatre, though never completed. The upper façade remains relatively unchanged from the 1922 remodeling. The corners of the building have low relief quoins and there are diamond shaped lozenges along the parapet edges.
Erected by City of Pendleton.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentNotable Buildings.
Location. 45° 40.253′ N, 118° 47.19′ W. Marker is in Pendleton, Oregon, in Umatilla County. Marker is on South Main Street near Southwest Emigrant Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 355 South Main Street, Pendleton OR 97801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Griggs & Tryon Bldg (here, next to this marker); Empire Meat Market (a few steps from this
Rivoli Theater and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 30, 2017
2. Rivoli Theater and Marker
The marker is above the pickup truck.
marker); Frazier Building (a few steps from this marker); Hendricks Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Temple-Martin Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Aura Goodwin Raley (within shouting distance of this marker); Triple Nickles (within shouting distance of this marker); Columbia Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pendleton.
<i>Street Scene Pendleton, Ore.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1950
3. Street Scene Pendleton, Ore.
The Rivoli Theater is visible on the left.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 18, 2017. It was originally submitted on December 17, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 222 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 17, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   3. submitted on December 18, 2017.

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Sep. 25, 2023