$6M expansion planned for 89-year-old theatre

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 19:04:02-05

The Riviera Theatre may be 89-years-old, but it's still bringing people and money to North Tonawanda.

Donna Watkins owns Lou’s restaurant adjacent to the theatre. She remembers going there for movies when she was a kid.

“I actually found this place going to the Riviera. I started at 15 doing dishes and now I've owned it for 30 years,” Watkins said.

Watkins' business is just one of many that benefit from having the theatre.

“The Riviera generates about $3 million a year for North Tonawanda and all of WNY,” Director of Theatre Operations Jim Pritchard said.

They recently updated their marque with new technology but still kept the old fashioned feel. There is also a $6 million expansion planned.

“It’s a great unique feel, small town area. But we'll also have the whole back area look nicer and it will be great for the area,” Watkins said.

The theatre is a non-profit organization so they are always looking for the community to keep them going strong.




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