|Architectural style||Classical Revival, Exotic Revival, Other|
|NRHP Reference #||74001108|
|Added to NRHP||August 13, 1974|
|Designated OMAL||October 21, 1980|
The Astro Theater originally opened as The Riviera and is now known as the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center or The Rose. It is located at 2001 Farnam Street in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Built in 1926 in a combination of both Moorish and Classical styles, the building was rehabilitated in 1986.
Noted for lavish stage shows combined with movies, the Riviera was regarded as one of the most elegant entertainment facilities in the Midwest. John Eberson, a nationally notable architect, built the theater as an example of the "atmospheric" theater popular during the 1920s. In a style created by Eberson, these atmospheric theaters simulated romantic outdoor Mediterranean courtyards with a night sky above, including twinkling stars and drifting clouds.
The exterior of the building features a large copper domed tower, flanked by two smaller towers of similar detailing. The diamond-patterned brick facades contain oriel windows, elaborate cornices, glazed terra-cotta tile copings, and a series of free-standing columns which support griffins.
In 1929, experiencing financial loses, the theater's owner sold the building to Paramount Company and the theater was renamed the Paramount Theater. In 1957, Paramount vacated the lease to Creighton University. Closed for several years, it was later leased to J.S.B. Amusement, and after renovations, was operated as a bowling alley. After only a year of operation, the building once again was remodeled to return it to a theater. It reopened as the Astro theater and continued operations until June 1980.
Now closed and facing possible demolition, Creighton University sold the Astro Theater to Rose Blumkin of the Nebraska Furniture Mart on June 24, 1981. In the early 1990s it was renovated and transformed into the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center and currently serves as the home of the Emmy Gifford Children's Theater.
- History of Omaha
- List of theaters in Omaha, Nebraska
- Creighton Orpheum Theater
- Moon Theater
- Rialto Theater
- World Theater
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Omaha Landmarks". Omaha Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
- "Tax incentive program projects in Douglas County", Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved 12/2/07.
- "Nebraska National Register Sites in Douglas County", Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved 12/2/07.
- "Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center." Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 12/2/07.
- Jeffrey S. Spencer [researcher and writer], Kristine Gerber [project director] (2003). Building for the ages : Omaha's architectural landmarks (1st ed. ed.). Omaha, Neb.: Omaha Books. p. 163. ISBN 0-9745410-1-X.
- "Creighton's history brick by brick", The Creightonian Online. Retrieved 12/2/07.
- "Our Story Mrs. B." Nebraska Furniture Mart. Retrieved 12/2/07.
- "The Rose", The Rose Performing Arts for Children and Families. Retrieved 12/2/07.
- Historic Photo of The Riveria's Interior
- Alternate Historic Photo of The Riveria's Interior
- Postcard of The Riviera Theater
- Historic Photo of The Rivera Theater
- Riviera Theater Grand Opening Advertisement
- Historic Photo of The Paramount Theater
- Paramount Theater Advertisement
- Astro Theater Advertisement