Archive Record

Object Name Image, Digital
Catalog Number 2014.042.001
Description Digital image of a movie ticket to the Rivoli Theatre to see "Dog Law". Located at 2436 Glass Street in East Chattanooga.

"Dog Law" was a movie staring Ranger, a leading canine competitor star that competed with Rin Tin Tin movies. The movie was produced by FBO Studios. The movie came out in 1928 and was shown across the nation and was still being played in theaters in 1929.

The Rivoli Theatre was built by Abe Koblentz and opened in 1926. The plan was for the theatre to seat 625 people. Koblentz also built an adjacent department store that was a satellite location to his store on Market Street, next to Loveman's. Koblentz was a former resident of East Chattanooga and now has a circle named after him.
"Men of Steel" may have been one of the first silent films shown at the Rivoli. The plot of the movie was about a rugged steel mill worker who fights his way up the social ladder while at the same time trying to balance a love triangle and also prove his innocence of a murder. No copy of this film exists today. The Rivoli stage in 1926 was used for a live prologue from the novel "Men of Steel." Colored lights and sparks from an electric hammer were used as a preshow to the movie.

Chattanooga a residents could pay 10ยข for a ticket, popcorn and Coca-Cola. Or you could redeem Double Cola and Pepsi bottle caps for admission.

The ownership changed sometime in the 1930s to Abe Borisky. He managed the Rivoli until 1950, when he became more interested with drive-ins. Soon the theater was sold to Wilby-Kincey, a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures. This company managed over 200 theaters in the south, including the Tivoli. The Rivoli closed its doors by 1956. Now the building serves as offices and manly general storage areas for several organizations and companies. The building was a teenage nightclub briefly in the 1960s.

A majority of people remember the Rivoli for the 1940s and 1950s as the "Rat Hole." The Rivoli apparently had a large rat problem and views would tell jokes about how they would buy a bag of popcorn for themselves and the rats.

The theatre has only survived through the years because of its usefulness as a storage area unlike most of its local sisters. The movie theatre started with silent films and the sound of an upright piano and then later changed with the times. Many of its original features still exist, such as the raked (slanted) house, a small stage, the projection room and vintage bathrooms.

Information found from an article written by David Moon on Nooga.com; "Dog Law" movie summary found on NYTimes.com; and "Dog Law" movie ad found on 'The Free Lance-Star' newspaper October 15, 1929.
Date 1928-1929
Accession number 2014.042