Rialto Theater

424 W. Main Street,
Denison, TX 75020

Unfavorite 5 people favorited this theater

Related Websites

Rialto Theater, Denison (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Interstate Theatres Inc. & Texas Consolidated Theaters Inc.

Architects: John Tullock

Functions: Concerts, Live Music Venue, Movies (Classic)

Previous Names: Rialto Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 903.462.4300

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Rialto Theater...Denison Texas

The largest theatre in the small town (about 20,000 population) of Denison, it was the first run movie palace in the city from the time it was built in 1920, and it opened on August 4, 1920, billing itself as “Denison’s All-Time Greatest Movie Palace”. It was built by L.M. Rideouton but was sold to the Interstate Theatres Inc. chain in 1935. On August 25, 1948 the World Premiere of Howard Hawks western “Red River” starring John Wayne was held at the Rialto Theatre. Interstate operated the theatre through the 1960’s, but by the time it closed in August 1977, it was locally owned.

It had a revival in the early-1980’s, again showing first run films, but the local owner could not compete with the multi-screen theatre located in a nearby shopping mall. Sometime in the 1990’s, the Rialto Theater was turned into a concert setting and is still open today – balcony and all – and weekly live country music shows are staged there.

Contributed by Don Eldredge

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 4, 2009 at 9:26 pm

A photo from August 25th, 1948 of the Rialto Theater in Denison featuring a world premier engagement of “Red River”

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 7, 2009 at 8:27 am

“Red River” returns to the Rialto in 1982, 34 years after its world premier in Denison.

philbertgray on July 12, 2009 at 9:29 am

A photo of the World Premiere of Red River in Denison in 1948

View link

photowriter63 on February 23, 2010 at 6:39 pm

A great book detailing the history of all 30+ of Denison’s movie theaters is THEATER ROW: MOVIE PALACES OF DENISON, TEXAS, by Billy Holcomb (Denison Heritage Inc., 1999). Has a whole chapter on the Rialto. Over 100 photos. Epilogue by Donna Hord Hunt.

drivein2001 on November 25, 2010 at 10:53 am

Was in Denison this week (11-22-10) & Sadly, the RIALTO is now closed. I’m going back Next Monday (11-29-10) to get some updated shots of This Theatre & some other Stuctures as well. See if any other Former Theatre Structures are at least still standing, using the address’s that are on this site.
Randy A Carlisle
Historical Photographer
RAC Photography

kappasigmapookie on February 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm


The Rialto has been remodeled and is having it’s sold out Grand Opening Premiere this Valentine’s Day 02-14-2012: showing Dirty Dancing.

Driveintheatre2001 on February 4, 2012 at 7:14 am

A photo I took back in Novemeber of 2010 can be seen here..

Same photo as the one above Randy A Carlisle – Historical Photographer

Rialto_Denison on January 7, 2018 at 12:26 am

Hi there everyone. I’m the current manager of the Rialto and I just wanted to let you all know that we are open and running once again. I found this page as I was researching the theater and its history.I would love if anyone who has photos, stories, and/or inquiries for the theater get back to me at

50sSNIPES on January 18, 2021 at 1:41 pm

Not Just It Showed Concerts And Live Music Venue, They Also Screened Classic Films And Special Screenings Every Saturday.

dallasmovietheaters on February 6, 2022 at 9:19 am

John Tullock of Sherman, Texas was the architect.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.