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Riviera Theatre Re-Opens Friday

By Staff | May 6, 2010

EMMETSBURG RIVIERA THEATRE will open Friday, May 7. Steve Hoyman, new owner with his father, Greg, is pictured (left) talking with Roger Bockert, owner of Heartland theatre Services in Council Bluffs. Bockert is installing new, state-of-the-art projection system (pictured) and sound system at the theatre. The first movie is Iron Man 2 with a show time of 7 p.m. Additional photos of the theatre renovation are on page 5 of The Democrat. --Jane Whitmore photo

Iron Man 2 will be the first show at Emmetsburg Riviera Theatre when it opens this Friday. There is one show nightly at 7 p.m., May 7 through May 20.

New owners Greg and Steve Hoyman have spent the past ten days renovating the theatre building.

“We have learned that the keys to a successful theatre are maintaining a clean facility; booking good movies; having good equipment; a friendly staff; and fresh popcorn,” said Greg Hoyman. “We’re making a really concerted effort to accomplish all five criteria.”

To begin the process, the Hoymans have pressure sprayed the theatre floor not once, but twice. Each of the 360 seats has been shampooed, and the seat backs have been washed to get the marks off.

“Two or three of our staff has helped with the cleaning and we’ve hired extra help, as well,” said Hoyman. “We fixed the seats and cleaned each one by hand. Everything is clean and ready for the public to enjoy.”

Don Larson and Howard Argabright spent a couple of days anchoring the seats to the floor and replacing some bad arms.

“The people who have pitched in and helped have been very useful,” said Hoyman.

In addition to the physical appearance inside, the electrical and plumbing in the building were also upgraded. Hoyman noted that building owner Deb Hite has been doing some upgrading as well.

“The biggest thing we needed to do was upgrade the theatre and get ready for digital,” said Hoyman.

Roger Bockert, owner of Heartland Theatre Services in Council Bluffs, has been in Emmetsburg this week to install projection and sound equipment.

“All of the equipment will be automated and can be operated with just the push of a button,” said Bockert.

He said a different style lamp house is being installed to project a better picture. And he has installed a Dolby digital sound system, going from one speaker to four.

“Overall, their booth will be headed toward digital projection, when the film based stuff goes away,” said Bockert.

Movie times have changed and the prices have changed a bit, too. Movies will be shown at 7 p.m. and the price of admission  has increased by a dollar. There is still a $3 matinee on Sunday afternoons.

“It seems for years people have complained about not having current shows,” said Hoyman. “That has not been a valid complaint in recent years. Fridley has done a good job of getting new movies.”

Hoyman explained that they have hired a booking company, and movies will be scheduled three to four weeks ahead of time.

“We hope by doing this that people can plan to stay in town to see a movie,” said Hoyman.

The first movie is Iron Man 2. When the show was ordered for the first day it comes out, the theatre is required to keep the movie for two weeks. That is also the case with Shrek The Final Chapter.

“We’re not always going to do that,” said Hoyman. “Two weeks is a long time to show the same movie in Emmetsburg.”

Feedback from the community has been positive.

“We have had nothing but great comments from the community, with good positive comments from the public,” said Hoyman.

“Steve and I have been impressed with the variety of people who have sought us out to thank us for making this investment in Emmetsburg,” Greg added. Young and old, from a big cross section of background have expressed their appreciation to the Hoymans.

Opening night is Friday, May7. A grand opening celebration will be held in coming weeks.