Rialto Theatre

1085 Flatbush Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11226

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Showing 1 - 25 of 32 comments

Orlando on May 9, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Yes, as a member of the congregation, they allowed me to bring Matt Lambros in to see it. He took pictures which were to be for his private use only and then posted them here without asking. The sanctuaries are private. The church elders were not happy with this. Because of this, they will not let me bring in guests to show the interior. Two interior shots were posted here and I ask cinema treasures to delete the Matt Lambros photos as soon as possible. By the way, Happy belated 103 anniversary!!

Willburg145 on June 7, 2016 at 7:12 pm

Would the congregation object to anyone taking pictures of the interior?

robboehm on March 29, 2016 at 9:36 pm

I found contradictory information regarding the Jamaica Rialto which makes no mention of Al Schwartz. See Savoy, Jamaica site.

nymets2784 on March 29, 2016 at 3:14 pm

It was great having four theaters within walking distance of my house. I remember seeing Bridge at Remagen and Kelly’s Heroes there. Sure miss the good ole days.

Orlando on March 16, 2015 at 1:04 pm

In three days, Church of God, formerly the Century’s Rialto Theatre will be 99 years old. A lot of fond memories here for me. Glad that is originally intact as it looked in 1916. I attend services here once in a while. L'Eglise De Dieux keeps the place immaculate and to their credit lovingly take care of one of Flatbush Avenues first theatre. When I made my communion in 1966 or so, my sister took me here to see “You Only Live Twice” and “The Fortune Cookie” with a Pink Panther cartoon. Loved that Century logo with the flying “C”’s converging into one and spelling outwards to the right (Century Theatres) before the coming attractions. Remember the music also that went with the snipe. Contrary to what is written in the introduction, the theatre closed August 30, 1977 with “Kentucky Fried Movie”, also the same day was the closing of the Loew’s Kings under the new management of ATM (American Theatre Management).

Orlando on January 14, 2015 at 12:13 pm

In two months, this building will be 99 years old.

Orlando on October 20, 2014 at 11:24 am

I was in the former Rialto this past Saturday night and for a service on Sunday morning. The enterior is in great shape. I’d say 85% intact. Stage curtains (waterfall type) are gone as is boxoffice. Otherwise stage procenium is now visible as are walls covered over by the removed drapery. The building is meticulous kept by the Eglise De Dieu staff members. The Century “spatter” carpeting does not exist anywhere in the building and the restrooms upgraded.

stavros8842 on October 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm

i worked at the rialto thearter in the early 70’s. I remember we had the Sting sold out every weekend had ticket holder lines. also american graffiti. had over 2,000 seats.

robboehm on November 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Interesting photo from 2010. Church is French not Spanish. Didn’t realize Century originated the Silver Screen Classic concept which is so popular with the General Amusment Multiplexes. When I lived in Farmingdale the classic usually sold out and it was in the largest auditorium.

jinchelsea on November 13, 2011 at 11:38 am

My dad worked for Century Theatre throughout the late 1950s and 1960s, and I spent many happy hours in the dark throughout my childhood and teen years. He managed the Rialto from the early 1960s for several years (I was in high school at Erasmus, and we lived on the corner of Ocean and Caton). Around 1961 they tried running old movies at a discounted price (the only one I remember is “Meet Me in St Louis”), but this was years before the ever-growing interest in old films, and no one came, so they gave up this policy very quickly. I used to bring my friends or my “dates” on a Saturday night for free movies, and often afterwards we would head back down Flatbush Avenue to Jahn’s ice cream parlor (or into Garfield’s, to laugh at the “old” people hanging out all night, sipping a cup of coffee). Glad to see that the theatre is still standing…

CConnolly1 on February 4, 2011 at 7:42 am

View link

Photo of the exterior, 1916.

GaryCohen on January 3, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I remember my father taking us to see “Thunderball” at the Rialto after the original theater we went to, the Kingsway, was sold out. The excitement surrounding the release of this 4th Bond film was incredible: far more excitement than the mania surrounding the release of “Batman” in 1989 or “The Dark Knight” 2 years ago.
The Rialto got a lot of United Artists films. I remember seeing “The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming” and the Beatles in “Let It Be” there. It was a nice theater but I do not remember anything distinctive about it, unlike the beautiful Loews Kings which was about 2 blocks away. I also preferred the Albemarle which was about 3 blocks away.
I remember once eating at Henrys Ice Cream parlor,which was across the street, before seeing something at the Rialto. This nice little restaurant which used to put stuffed animals in its windows to celebrate the seasons, holidays, etc. held out a very long time as a nice middle-class neighborhood deteriorated into a dangerous area with hoodlums hanging out on the street, day or night. My express bus used to pass down Flatbush Avenue on the way to Manhattan. I marvelled at how long Henrys held out. Then about 15 years ago, they threw in the towel and Henrys was gone. The last time I passed that way, it had been converted into a Jamaican restaurant. Henrys joined the Rialto, Loews Kings,Albemarle, the Astor and the Kenmore as remnants of a better time on Flatbush Avenue.

martinreck on August 2, 2009 at 6:03 pm

I believe the Rialto did more than just show movies. I remember seeing Carmen Miranda in vaudeville there around 1948-9.

superty3 on September 8, 2008 at 8:03 pm

I visited the Rialto many times during the sixties. I remember seeing West Side Story at night. With my mom. Who worked across the street at Henry’s ice cream parlor. I must have been around 8 0r 9 at the time. It was a very big deal. I remember her saying the parlor would get real busy when the show let out. Regarding the battle of the bands site. that would be at the Midwood @Flatbush and Glenwood Rd. I saw many battles there. the place was called the Midwood Terrace. It usually featured 4 or 5 bands set up around the floor with the top band set up on the main stage. It really wasn’t so much a battle, more like a talent show. I know they had some pretty big acts like the Vagrants featuring Leslie West, Constant Changes which morphed into Alive & Kicking It was a great place to view the local talent.

conklinwj on February 3, 2007 at 9:36 am

My memories of the Rialto are from my high school days in the mid-60s. The Rialto used to show all the new James Bond releases. WOW were they popular. It was the first time I remember having to stand on long lines to get into a movie. Many times you had to wait on line to get into the next showing because the showing that just started was sold out.

Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, etc…..those are my memories of the Rialto.

jflundy on January 30, 2007 at 10:22 am

Photos above show new circa 1947-48 marquees on Rialto and Albermarle Theaters.

jflundy on January 30, 2007 at 10:01 am

Photos of Century’s Rialto and Albermarle are at this url:

These pictures were taken in 1950. Flatbush Ave. trolleys stopped running early in 1951.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 2, 2006 at 4:19 am

Here is a vintage postcard view from the early 1930’s:

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 1, 2006 at 8:42 am

The name of the church is the ‘Eglise De Dieu’.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 1, 2006 at 6:54 am

As you can see, the marquee has been damaged by a passing truck (or something?) at some time. The building is still in use as a church as can be seen on the sign on the right-hand side over the alley entrance on the second photo

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 1, 2006 at 6:36 am

Yes Warren, I can confirm you have the correct Rialto Theatre building. Here are a couple more photographs which I took in June 2006:

criticman on May 9, 2006 at 10:16 am

In Sidney Lumet’s “Bye Bye Braverman” (1968, I think) there’s a scene where the the main characters, who’ve been driving frantically around New York looking for a funeral, stop briefly and run into a Chinese restaurant, emerging, seconds later, with a basket full of egg rolls.
That Chinese restaurant was right next to the Rialto. In between this place and the theater is either a very thin street (too thin to drive a car down) or a service alleyway, I can’t recall which.
In any event, the shots outside the restaurant were angled specifically so that the theater isn’t shown.
That was a great restaurant while it was there. It turned into other businesses afterwards, but their sign remained for years afterwards, I don’t know if it’s still up there.

frankie on May 9, 2006 at 8:35 am

In ‘73 or '74 I took my Father’s girlfriend Rita here to see Lucy in “Mame.” I liked it !

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 16, 2006 at 11:45 am

Warren; I have just compared your Rialto photo above with a fairly recent photo I have of the Rialto, Brooklyn. Looks to me like the same building. Thanks for posting it.

criticman on December 1, 2005 at 11:00 pm

The Rialto was a Century theater for my entire life (I was born in 1956). I never knew it as anything else but a Century theater. This needs to be updated.