Look: One Of Oregon’s Oldest Theaters Is Being Restored
A Look at One of Oregon's Oldest Theaters
People in the area may or may not know that one of the oldest theaters in Oregon is in Pendleton. In its heyday, the Rivoli was Pendleton's longest-running theater, open from 1921 until approximately 1987.
The Theater's Place in the Community
"Anyone who lived in town during its operating years has a story about the Rivoli. It was one of the most popular gathering places in town, and it was about more than movies-- people tell me they remember working there as a teenager, taking their spouse there on a first date, or even meeting a movie star there," said Liza Dadoly, the Director of Development for the Rivoli Theater.
According to Dadoly, the most famous patron seen at the theater was Jeff Chandler, who came to the theater regularly when he was shooting on location in the area in the 1950s.
Bringing the Theater back to its Glory Days
It's fantastic that a theater that has been closed for so long can still hold such an essential place in our community's heart. We can't wait to revive it and bring back these important moments for the next generation.
Read More: One of the Biggest Aircraft Hangars in the World is in Oregon
The theater's original interior has now been entirely removed, but it once housed a Wurlitzer organ that would be played to accompany silent films. The organ was removed after sound films became more popular than silent films.
Right now the theater is currently undergoing an extensive restoration and remodeling process. The Rivoli Theater Restoration Coalition is a nonprofit dedicated to restoring the Rivoli Theater into a performing arts center. The finished building will be a host venue for various performing arts, including movies, theater, and music.
When the restoration is complete, the historic theater hopes to be a central part of the community. They have recently started offering community programming for the first time and have two programs slated for 2024. First, they will be running a quarterly series of free film screenings open to the public with a facilitated conversation about the film after the screening and, later in the year, it will offer two community film classes that will provide participants with the opportunity to explore a specific part of film history or aesthetics on a more in-depth level.
For more on the Rivoli project, visit their website.
5 Unusual Family Attractions That You'll Love in Oregon
Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals
11 Intriguing Local Cults You Might Run Into in Oregon
Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby
Never Say Die: Famous Goonies House in Oregon
Gallery Credit: Merrick Parnell