When in opened 1927, the 1,500 seat Rivoli Theater had the largest stage in the Indianapolis area. It became a landmark for the near-Eastside 10th Street neighborhood, as Board President Jim Kelly remembers. "As a child I went there as a little kid and it was just another world," says Kelly.
A self-proclaimed "save the world kinda guy," Kelly recalls years of personal memories as inspiration of what the building meant to his community. He believes today's movie goers are missing the wonder of the experience. "We want them to look around and see just a wonderful work of art; just how grand things can be," says Kelly.
During the event, Mark Dollase, the vice president of Preservation Services for Indiana Landmarks and chairman of the Rivoli Center for the Performing Arts, talked about his organization's work to restore Cook Theater and the Indiana Landmarks Center, a former church that reopened as his organization's headquarters in June 2011. He spoke of conversations with investor Bill Cook as inspiration for similar restoration efforts. "He felt that historical preservation is economic development... you are investing in these properties, doing small and large scale community revitalization," says Dollase.
Efforts to stabilize the roof of the Rivoli Theatre are funded and underway, and proceeds from this year's revue will go toward restoring the theater's marquee. Dollase welcomes any efforts in helping the project, through contributions, board membership and volunteering.
Emcee Tom Alvarez introduced the revue's performers, including the Steve Smith Band, South Six 5, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis, Zac Hays and Creative Tweenz & Teenz, while local artist Doug Arnholter painted a piece stage-side that was included in the event's silent auction.