The Rivoli Theater under the ownership of Emil Ostlund first opened its doors to the public on December 22, 1927 with its first movie presentation, a silent picture titled “Loves of Carmen.”
The Rivoli was note the first movie house to open in Springville. The Star Theater in the block north of the Rivoli had been in operation for several years, but would soon give way tothe more progressive Rivoli which added a sound system for the “talkies” in 1929.
The movies, along with radio programs, became the most popular forms of public entertainment and movie going by the late 1920s was a regular habit for many Springville adults and younger people alike. New films were released in great quantity as Hollywood capitalized on the vast appetites of the film loving public. New films opened two or three times a week and the Rivoli audiences responded enthusiastically when the big stars of the day like Clara Bow, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford graced the silver screen.
Through the depression years of the 1930s and the war years of the 1940s patrons flocked to the movies for a brief respite from tough economic times and wartime worries. There were also newsreels for keeping up with current events.
Adding to the fun were live performances of trained chimpanzees and mesmerizing magicians. This mix of filmed and live entertainment continued until 1967 when Carl Lind, a new owner, remodeled the theater and renamed it the Villa. A few years later another group acquired the theater and it became the Villa Playhouse.