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The Riviera was built in 1826 as a public Assembly Rooms, later becoming the headquarters of the Teignmouth and East Devon Club. It has an imposing 7-bay façade with a giant Ionic order of columns with a crowning pediment above a ground floor Doric colonnade. In 1912, films were shown. In 1924, it was in use as a hotel and restaurant, live entertainment and films continuing in the hotel ballroom. In 1933 the interior was demolished and a 900 seat cinema was constructed in the shell. This was converted in 1970 as a theatre/cinema above an amusement arcade. The auditorium retains features from the 1930s including the coffered panelled ceiling, moulded framed plasterwork to walls, grilles to ante-proscenium and cove lighting. It has raked seating with excellent sightlines. There is a large stage and dressing room accommodation. There are no flying facilities. The spacious foyer upstairs enjoyed views over the bay. The cinema closed in 2000. In 2005, the building underwent major changes at roof level with the addition of a two storey extension housing five luxury apartments in place of the old owner’s flat that had been added in the 1960s, somewhat incongruously, in the form of a penthouse. The restaurant was refurbished with a function room above but the auditorium remained closed. In 2016 it was purchased by the Mars Hill Church and planning permission was granted in 2017 to refurbish the restaurant back to 1930s art deco style and develop the theatre as a multiuse space and community hub.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
  • 1826 - 2000: (1924-33 in hotel ballroom)
Current state
Current use
Den Crescent, Teignmouth, Devon, TQ14 8BQ, England
Further details
Other names
Assembly Rooms , Riviera Cinema
  • 1826 Design/Construction:
    Andrew Patey
    - Architect
  • 1826 - 2000 Use: (1924-33 in hotel ballroom)
  • 1910 Owner/Management: G A Bilton, proprietor
  • 1924 Owner/Management: Bill Prince, owner, continuing in Prince family
  • 1924 Alteration: converted to hotel and restaurant with ballroom
    - Architect
  • 1933 Alteration: cinema constructed in shell
    - Architect
  • 1970 Alteration: converted to cinema/theatre with amusement arcade below
    - Architect
  • 1995 Owner/Management: Peter Prince
  • 1995 Owner/Management: (cinema-theatre) Peter Hoare, lessee
  • 2000 Alteration: closure of cinema
  • 2005 Alteration: addition of luxury flats at roof level
    Architects Design Group
    - Architect
  • 2009 Owner/Management: Ralph Brown, owner
  • 2016 Owner/Management: Mars Hill Church, lessee
  • Capacity
    1910: 400-500
    1933: 900
  • Capacity
  • Listing
Stage type
Pros flat
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: 1910 Depth: 23ft Width: 35ft
Proscenium width: 1910: 23ft
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: -