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All Things Michigan

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Filtering by Tag: three-rivers

Take in a show at the Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers

Andrew Norton

When I was a kid the Riviera Theatre was one of the only places around to see first-run movies. This was before the multiplexes popped up in all of the larger towns. Even though the Riviera was already past its prime you still see glimpses of the grandeur that it once had. The seats were uncomfortable and felt like they could have been the originals from when it was opened in 1925. The carpeting was worn and sticky from decades of spilled soda and candy. All of the ornate and intricate details that were put into the theatre in 1925 had either been covered up or painted over with black paint.

A new multiplex opened up on the north side of Three Rivers and the Riviera quietly passed into a faded memory in the scrapbooks of locals' minds. It lay dormant for five years before Bruce Monroe (who practically grew up in the Riviera) purchased it in 2005. Three years and about $1 million later Three Rivers if home to a true gem in the Riviera Theatre.

I love westerns, especially John Wayne movies, and when I saw that "The Searchers" was playing at the Riviera this past Sunday I convinced my wife to go so we could see the movie and as a bonus - check out the renovations.

I was blown away by how beautiful the Riviera is now. I can appreciate it because I know what it looked like back before it closed and this is a night and day difference. Gone is the black paint and nasty old shag carpeting. A wonderful mix of gold, shades of red, and other lighter tones now add class to a wonderful old theater.

Do yourself a favor and take in a movie or one of the other shows/concerts that the Riviera is now home to. This Sunday, January 25, is the last Sunday that westerns are featured and they are showing "Unforgiven", starring Clint Eastwood.

You can keep up to date on all of the upcoming concerts and movies via the Riviera Theatre website,

Stray Dog Bookshop in Three Rivers is a real treat

Andrew Norton

The Stray Dog Bookshop held their Grand Opening in October of 2006 in Three Rivers, MI. They have a stock of around 10,000 used books in hardcover and paperback. Compared to the big dog in town, Lowry's Books and More, The Stray Dog Bookshop would appear to be more of a boutique bookstore. Lowry's has an inventory of over 90,000 used books in addition to 18,000 new books in their inventory. However, I think that The Stray Dog Bookshop might be able to carve out a nice little niche for themselves. The bookstore is located in a refurbished 1852 two-story home that is well-lit and cozy - perfect for a bookstore in my opinion.

On a recent visit I found that their selection was extremely well organized and it made it quite easy to browse for particular authors. You don't always find that with used bookstores. A lot of times the books are organized in categories and the authors are slapped into spots throughout that category without rhyme or reason.

The part of The Stray Dog Bookshop that really helps nail down their niche and possibly helps secure them a spot in the local book scene is their coffee bar. I enjoyed the special of the day when I was there - an almond cappuccino. It was delicious and at under $2 was a nice change of pace from the $5 or $6 prices you might pay at Starbucks or at another of the local coffee shops.

If you are looking for used or collectible children's books go to Lowry's Books and More. I don't think that The Stray Dog Bookshop is looking to enter that area as Lowry's has a huge selection of new and used children's books as well as a great selection of toys.

I know I'll be heading back to The Stray Dog Bookshop looking for a gem or two in their used books while drinking the special of the day from their coffee bar. Friendly and helpful service, nicely organized selection, and a pleasant atmosphere should help them to do well.

Visit The Stray Dog Bookshop on the web -