The Riviera opens with special effects

By: Elizabeth Scussel, Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published May 5, 2015

 The theater features a lounge area and bar seating.

The theater features a lounge area and bar seating.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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FARMINGTON HILLS — It was all pomp and circumstance, with an accordion to boot, April 30 at the grand opening of The Riviera, 30170 Grand River Ave.


Local dignitaries, including Farmington Hills Mayor Barry Brickner, cheered during the ribbon cutting as droves of attendees filed in to watch the first showing, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”


“I think when you walk in, hopefully, it has that ‘wow’ factor,” Jon Goldstein, managing partner at Cloud Nine, said. “I have wonderful designers and architects … who have wonderful taste … just thinking about what (moviegoers) would like.”


With lofty chandeliers, a lounge area and enormous mirrors, The Riviera aims to dazzle.


Bloomfield Hills-based Cloud Nine Partners — a company that owns and operates The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Township — announced the brand-new theater venue last winter.


The Riviera is a joint partnership with Dipson Theatres and opened May 1. It is a more upscale version of its predecessor, Dipson West River Centre, owners said.


Cloud Nine put over $1 million into the renovations.


Goldstein said the site was a victim of the real estate crash of 2007.


Goldstein described The Riviera as a mix of retro style with modern amenities.


With pictures of the old theater on Grand River in Detroit posted high up on beams in front of The Riviera, Goldstein said the goal was to bring that “old Hollywood” feel to Farmington Hills.


He added that he thinks it is going to be a good summer for movies.


“I hope people come,” Goldstein said.


Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dan Irvin said after the ribbon cutting that projects like The Riviera boost the city.


“It is very great to see an investment of this nature, especially this part of the community,” Irvin said. “With our efforts to revitalize Grand River with the Grand River Corridor Improvement Authority, seeing an investment like this can really be such a catalyst for this shopping center. There is so much opportunity here, and we’re happy to see it and looking forward to more investors paying attention to this area.”


Dearborn resident Gina Salsberry attended the grand opening with her family on free movie tickets that her daughter won.


“The movie theater is gorgeous, nice,” she said standing in the lobby of The Riviera for the first time. “When going to the movies, I want it to be comfortable.”


Standing in line for two hours before showtime were Lincoln Park resident Lee Ferrel and Livonia resident Sue Walker. The duo met two years ago the same way: standing in line for a movie.


The friends, who watched about 83 movies together last year, said that from what they saw while in line, the new movie theater looks good.


“I hear it is gorgeous,” Walker said. “It looks beautiful.”


She added that with her living about 10 minutes away, there is nothing stopping the cinephile from enjoying the big screen.


“I will be coming to the movie theater more often,” she said.


The Riviera has nine auditoriums and a screening room for private parties and corporate events. The auditoriums will have wall-to-wall screens and state-of-the-art film projection and sound. The seating will be a combination of high-backed rockers and recliners, and a cocktail lounge will offer an extended menu in addition to concessions.


For more information on The Riviera, email info@themapletheater.com or visit www.therivieracinema.com.

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