In the old days, there were movie theaters and then there were movie palaces. Santa Cruz' Rio Theatre was definitely among the latter. Built in 1949, it features lavish seats and lighting, lending a luxuriant atmosphere to the many events that are held there. In the modern era, the theater hosts everything from concerts to competitions. Get Rio Theatre tickets now!
The theater was conceived of in 1946 by the Golden State/T&D Theaters company, which hoped to install a cutting-edge screen that would lend a 3-D look to all the movies it showed. The screen was curved rather than flat, like most theater screens, and could not be raised or lowered, as many others were. So a specialty theater--the Rio--was built to hold it.
Though it started as a movie house, the Rio Theatre today hosts concerts and special events. Artists that have performed there in the past include Arlo Guthrie, Paula Poundstone, and Jenny Lewis with Rilo Kiley. Events have included a reading by Salman Rushdie and the 2008 Santa Cruz Body Building and Figure Championships. Get Rio Theatre tickets to upcoming events.