GENESEO – A long-anticipated sneak-peek into the renovated interior of the Riviera Theater on Center Street finally came on Friday as the Livingston County Development Group hosted an exclusive Year in Review of local business development projects, including the Riviera itself.
Don Livingston, developer and owner of the Riviera, sat in the balcony seats proudly enjoying the view as local mayors, county officials, and business owners gazed over the exquisitely detailed and beautifully preserved theater, a project that took him nearly two years to complete.
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“As we peeled the layers back, we could see the medallion pattern on the walls, and had the authentic velvet wall made in California,” said Don Livingston, developer and owner of the Riviera. “We could see the shadows of the light fixtures on the walls, since they had painted around them so many times. We actually found the crystal chandelier for sale online, from a lady who had it hanging in her house just south of Buffalo. I’m an electrician, so we had that thing over here and put up in no time.”
According to Louise Wadsworth, Downtown Coordinator for Livingston County Development, the Riviera’s renovations came as a result of an Anchor Grant for local arts and cultural centers. Many features of the original space are still intact, including the original brass rails for the upper deck, the original popcorn machine, and the original glass candy counter.
Another recently opened downtown business, the Village Cafe, catered Livingston County Development’s year in review at the Riviera, and prepared a beautiful and delicious spread of fruits, veggies, crackers and finger foods.
“It’s about preserving the old and lending the new a hand,” added Wadsworth.
PHOTO CAPTION: Top- The renovated balcony seating. (Photo/Livingston County Development) Middle – The beautiful spread prepared by the Village Cafe. (Photo/Sean Russell) Bottom – The view from balcony seats, showing the expanded stage area. (Photo/Sean Russell).