In the late 40s, Sidney and William Volk wanted to replace an aging Falls Theater which was located on Minnehaha Avenue. They contracted with the premier theater architects of that period, Liebenberg and Kaplan, to build one of the finest theaters of that day.
When it opened December 30, 1948, it was a notable event. It was featured in national publications. The first show presented was June Bride, starring Bette Davis and Robert Montgomery.
The screen at the Riverview has now been lit for more than half a century. In that time, numerous theaters in Minneapolis have come and gone, with names such as the Avalon, El Lago, Varsity, Cedar, Academy, Lyric, Century, Boulevard, as well as all of the Riverview's sister theaters: the Camden, Nile, and Terrace.
The Riverview has survived and looks much the same as it did in the 1950s, with the same furnishings, including imported Italian marble tables and an auditorium that features a backlit proscenium.