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Historical Society dedicates new mural in downtown Riverbank
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Members of the Riverbank City Council join artist Alexandra Riddle and Historical Society President Steve Bordona at the dedication of the Del Rio mural, on the two-story south end of the bank building downtown. From left, Council Member Luis Uribe and his daughter, Bordona, Riddle, Mayor Richard D. O’Brien, and Council Member Rachel Hernandez. Ric McGinnis/The News

Members of the Riverbank Historical Society gathered with classic car owners, city representatives, vendors and a crowd of local residents to celebrate the dedication of a new mural on a downtown building celebrating the Del Rio Theatre.

For nearly 75 years, the Theatre stood as the iconic landmark of downtown Riverbank. It was demolished last July.

The Society obtained a grant and set about to commemorate the building with a mural that was completed near the end of last year, on the south side of the two-story bank building, on the corner of Third and Santa Fe streets.

The mural was designed and painted by Alexandra Riddle, who has done a number of similar projects in the downtown area, all within a few blocks of each other, in the heart of the district.

The mural was dedicated to the many people who have enjoyed the use of the theatre over the years, with the event hosted by the Society and conducted by its president, Steve Bordona, a long-time resident of Riverbank.

Riddle was autographing photos of the original design for sale to those interested, and there was also a booth by a professional photographer who took pictures of the many classic cars owned by club members who participated.

Also there, was a booth presented by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, who had information available on their many programs coming up this spring. Another featured bags of popcorn being sold by staff from the Galaxy Theatre, the much more modern version of the Del Rio.

And there was even a pretzel wagon food truck for those who were hungry.

A special feature was a restored Wurlitzer calliope, from the 1930s era, that played band music from a trailer in the parking lot.

Bordona introduced Riddle to the crowd and members of the Riverbank City Council gave comments on the completion of the project. Mayor Richard D. O’Brien spoke, as did council members Luis Uribe and Rachel Hernandez.

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Artist Alexandra Riddle was on hand at the dedication of her latest mural in downtown Riverbank on Saturday, Feb. 3. It’s located on the ‘rear’ wall of the two-story bank building, on the south side, on the alley. She has painted a number of murals in the downtown area, all within a few blocks of each other. She was autographing photos of her initially submitted design for collectors. Ric McGinnis/The News
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Those who visited the dedication of the Del Rio mural in downtown Riverbank over the weekend received a rare treat. They were entertained by a restored Wurlitzer calliope, playing renditions of band music through the afternoon. It’s a re-built 1930’s instrument, refurbished and installed in a trailer so it can be taken around to events like this one. Ric McGinnis/The News