Astro Theater

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Astro Theater
Wiki photo 031b.jpg
Astro Theater is located in Nebraska
Astro Theater
Location Omaha, Nebraska
Coordinates 41°15′25.89″N 95°56′32.78″W / 41.2571917°N 95.9424389°W / 41.2571917; -95.9424389Coordinates: 41°15′25.89″N 95°56′32.78″W / 41.2571917°N 95.9424389°W / 41.2571917; -95.9424389
Built 1926[2]
Architect John Eberson[2]
Architectural style Classical Revival, Exotic Revival, Other
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 74001108[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP August 13, 1974
Designated OMAL October 21, 1980[2]

The Astro Theater originally opened as The Riviera and is now known as the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center or The Rose.[2] 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.[3]

History[edit]

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.[4]

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.[5]

In 1929, experiencing financial loses, the theater's owner sold the building to Paramount Company and the theater was renamed the Paramount Theater.[6] In 1957, Paramount vacated the lease to Creighton University.[6] Closed for several years, it was later leased to J.S.B. Amusement, and after renovations, was operated as a bowling alley.[6] After only a year of operation, the building once again was remodeled to return it to a theater.[6] It reopened as the Astro theater and continued operations until June 1980.[6]

Now closed and facing possible demolition, Creighton University sold the Astro Theater to Rose Blumkin of the Nebraska Furniture Mart on June 24, 1981.[7] 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.[8][9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Omaha Landmarks". Omaha Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  3. ^ "Tax incentive program projects in Douglas County", Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved 12/2/07.
  4. ^ "Nebraska National Register Sites in Douglas County", Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved 12/2/07.
  5. ^ "Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center." Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 12/2/07.
  6. ^ a b c d e 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. 
  7. ^ "Creighton's history brick by brick", The Creightonian Online. Retrieved 12/2/07.
  8. ^ "Our Story Mrs. B." Nebraska Furniture Mart. Retrieved 12/2/07.
  9. ^ "The Rose", The Rose Performing Arts for Children and Families. Retrieved 12/2/07.

External links[edit]