Rialto Theatre

41 Market Street,
Amsterdam, NY 12010

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Schine Circuit Inc.

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Rialto Theatre

Amsterdam was once one of the busiest industrial and commercial centers in upstate New York, and for a time the #1 city in the USA for the manufacture of carpets and rugs. Among its downtown theatres, the Rialto Theatre was the largest and plushest. It opened April 19, 1917 with Mary Pickford in “Poor Little Rich Girl”. The Rialto closed in the mid-70’s, and the auditorium was demolished in January, 1978. The facade and storefronts remain.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

ERD on September 27, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Edward C. Klapp opened the Rialto in 1917. It was located at the corner of Market and Grove Streets. In 1933, the Rialto became part of the Schine brothers' chain. The theatre was one of 27 theaters in the United States that premiered “Drums Along the Mohawk” in 1939.(This film also debuted in Gloversville – where the Schines lived and had their main offices – Schenectady, Utica and Albany.) Henry Fonda, whose family built the nearby town of Fonda, NY, starred in the film. He made a short appearance when the film premiered here and at the Glove theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm

There is a big parking lot behind the building at 41 Market Street. I suspect that the Rialto’s auditorium once occupied that space. The existing building is too small to have contained a large theatre.

gd14lawn on July 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I’m not sure when this theater closed but it did receive a new marquee in 1969.


Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm

The Amsterdam Evening Recorder of April 19, 1917, said that Edward Klapp’s new Rialto Theatre had opened that afternoon. A capacity crowd enjoyed five acts of vaudeville and a feature picture starring Mary Pickford. The formal opening was to take place at seven o'clock that evening, following a half hour concert by Minch’s Military Band in front of the theater. Stephen Bush, editor of The Moving Picture World would then make a short speech before the evening performance began. Presumably Mary Pickford was engaged elsewhere.

Texas2step on April 7, 2019 at 4:20 pm

When the Rialto Theatre opened on April 19, 1917, the opening movie was “The Poor Little Rich Girl ” with Mary Pickford.

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