The Riviera Theatre was constructed in 1939 by Albert Sottile, President of Pastime Amusement Company. The Art Deco architecture is in the Egyptian style. It served the Charleston community as a motion theatre until 1978. The theatre is situated on the site of the Academy of Music which opened in 1869 and was one of America's best known theatres. It was noted for the perfection of its acoustics. At the Academy of Music appeared such famous artists as Theodore Thomas' Orchestra, Maurice Barrymore, The Grau Opera Company, John Drew, The Booths, Joseph Jefferson, Mrs. Fiske, Lillian Russell, Otis Skinner, Irving & Terry, Weber & Fields, Bernhardt, Schumann-Heinck, Maude Adams, Paderewski, and other world-renowned performers in all the range of professional entertainment.