This former Movie Theater was built in 1921 and has been restored to all its original beauty. With its columned walls, the grand balcony and sculpted ceiling, The Rapids Theatre has unmatched beauty in an awesome display of craftsmanship and elegance. Please take some time to read the following archived articles from The Rapids illustrious past:
[From the Niagara Falls Gazette, September 14, 1923: "Many Leading Business Places Of The City Have Been Identified With The Street Since The Village Days"]
The Bellevue occupies a lot on the east side of Main Street, south of Michigan Avenue, with 100 feet frontage of Main Street and 160 feet depth. The main entrance is in the center of the building, which is of brick, concrete and hollow tile construction, is given over two modern stores on the first floor and five offices on the second floor. The building has a handsome tapestry brick front. Between the two stores a wide and handsome vestibule leads up to an equally ornate lobby, from which, in turn, one passes into the foyer of the spacious theatre auditorium, which occupies the rear of the building.
The attractiveness of the entrance and the marble and tile vestibule and lobby gives promise of the wonderful beauty of the foyer and auditorium, which is nothing short of captivating. The broad foyer is done in cypress and richly carpeted. The indirect lighting system throughout is of particularly enhancing design and in its soft glow, one glimpses appealing beauty on every side. There is nothing left to desire in that which the art of builder and decorator devises.
[From the Niagara Gazette, May 23, 1961: "Bellevue Will Become Luxury Movie House"]
Plans to remodel the Bellevue Theater to create a new luxury motion picture house were announced today. The change will start at the street entrance and sweep through the entire interior - with the greatest comfort and the newest in technical equipment keys to the revamping. To herald the complete change in the theater, a new name will be chosen soon to replace Bellevue.
Richard H. Hayman, vice president of the Cataract Theater Corp. and Michael J. Harmon, secretary, in making the annoucement today, said that their plans constituted a vote of confidence in the future of Niagara Falls.
"We believe strongly in the future of our city and of our business in particular," Mr. Harmon said for the corporation officers. "Because of this belief, we are actually bringing into the North End of the city a brand new theater."
The Bellevue will close within the next 10 days. The new theater will open, it is hoped, within a month from the closing. Patrons to the new theater will step under a modern, V-shaped marquee with the latest combination of decorative electrical signs. The accent on luxury and comfort will prevail in both the main orchestra floor and the loges. The techinical improvement will include additional projection and sound equipment so that the latest of the screen large picture super-motion features can be shown.
"Structurally, the building is sound," Mr. Harmon said. "We are going to do the remodeling needed to make this a completely modern theater." The gala opening of the newly named, remodeled theater will offer a major motion picture of the summer season, Mr. Harmon promised.