Vision and Future of the Rivoli
Bringing Art Home
The Rivoli Theater first opened its doors in 1927 with the silent movie “Loves of Carmen.” Just two years later the theater was outfitted for sound and began showing “talkies,” movies with sound. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the theater served as a much-needed escape for patrons living through the Great Depression and World War 2. Later, the Rivoli began hosting live acts as well.
In 1967, the theatre was sold and was renamed “the Villa.” The space continued to primarily be a movie house for new and general releases. The space was purchased in 1996 by Bill and Marilyn Brown who converted the building into a live theatre performance venue. Through ten years of operation, the Villa Playhouse produced nearly 100 plays and musicals.
After sitting vacant for more than ten years, entrepreneur, film producer, and local resident Melissa Johnson purchased the building in 2017 with the intent of restoring it to its glory. Melissa’s vision is to showcase a dynamic mix of film production, screenings, educational training, and live theatre plays and musicals.
Zac and Tatem Trotter have been producing live theatre in Southern Utah for ten years under the name, Iron Stage Theatrical. After meeting Melissa and her husband Brad, they agreed to move their theatre company to Utah County to merge the companies and to lead the live performance and education arms of the Rivoli. The mission of the Rivoli Acting Company is to produce quality and energetic musical theatre where professional, local, and student artists work side-by-side to excite audiences, enrich the community, and train the upcoming generation of theatre professionals and patrons.
After the production of “Winter Wonderettes,” the Rivoli will again close its door for a season to undergo restoration. The building will be updated to ADA standards and provide all the accommodations and comfort of what you would expect from a performance venue. It will be outfitted with state-of-the-art lighting, sound, and recording equipment to present professional plays/musicals as well as classic and independent film. It will also be brought into compliance with the requirements of the Actor’s Equity Association so professional actors from across the country can come to perform in our community. The intent is to open again in June, 2022 to coincide with Art City Days. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Rivoli soon!