Don Livingston, the owner of the theater, is renovating the theater and planning a future for the theater with help from a SUNY Geneseo Public Relations class. While Livingston works to make the insides presentable, the class has been working on how to best advertise and plan events to host in the theater. Livingston hopes the theater will be used more as a cultural center, including musical performances, lectures, dances, events, and have less of an emphasis on cinema, although that will continue to be an aspect.
“When this was brought to me, about doing this project with the college students, I didn’t expect this. This was absolutely amazing. My hat goes off to all of you. There are just so many ideas flooding into my mind from every one of you.”
The SUNY Geneseo class that contributed to the public relations plan for the Riviera is under the direction of Dr. Mary Mohan. So far, the students contributed to the plans for the theater by providing a comprehensive Human Resources booklet, planning aspects around the Grand Opening (hopefully with a Big Band!), events to cater to niche markets within the community, creating an online presence for the Riviera, planning a logo and tagline competition for the theater, and much more.
The theater, formerly known as the “Rex,” originally opened in 1914, which makes this year the centennial of it’s first grand opening. It has been sitting unused for the past 20 years, and has fallen into disrepair. In fact, when Livingston began preparing for renovations, he found a popcorn machine that hadn’t been cleaned at the concession stand.
The venue had a lot of work to put into it, but once its finished, it will be a grand addition to the Village. Livingston hopes to keep the original ‘art deco’ theme in the remodeling, and this will add to the historic feel of the building.
There are big plans for the Riviera, Livingston says, and you are invited to be a part of them!