Anyone who has passed through Monte Rio along the Russian River cannot help but notice the Rio Theater – a quirky movie theater housed in a Quonset hut. A mural depicting the area adorns the outside while inside top rated motion pictures are screened for short runs usually two or more weeks after their initial release.
About this Establishment
Local merchant, Sid Bartlett, started building the theater in 1949, and completed it in 1950. It was built from a surplus World War II Quonset hut but it was never actually used in the war. Inside today, the ceiling is lined with remnants of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Running Fence art project (c. 1972-1976) that stretched white nylon fabric over 24 miles from Hwy 101 to the Sonoma coast. Also inside, local art depicting the area’s rich history adorn the walls.
When a show is playing, the concession stand up front serves wonderful “theater faire” including hot dogs with sauerkraut. But when a movie isn’t playing, “Don’s Dogs Cafe” is open at the back side of the building for breakfast and lunch 5 days of the week with a larger menu selection.
Time Period Represented: 1950’s through today
Hours Open: Wed-Sat: 9am to 9pm, Sun: 9am to 7pm, Closed: Mon-Tue
Visitor Fees: Shows starting at $5/person
Seasons Open: Year round
Pet Friendly Notes
Next door is an enclosed leash-free dog park maintained by the Rio Theater
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