Rialto Cinema

Seaside Lane and Oswald Terrace,
Easington Colliery, SR8 3LA

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Functions: Retail

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Rialto Cinema

Located in Easington, County Durham. The only surviving cinema building in Easington Colliery is the former Rialto Theatre - both the Empire Cinema and the Hippodrome Cinema have been demolished.

The Rialto Cinema was opened around 1936 and had seating for 1,250 split between stalls and balcony, a shallow stage (25 feet deep), a proscenium width of 38 feet, and a very high fly tower. There were 10 dressing rooms situated under the stage.

It was closed in the mid-1970’s. It is now a carpet warehouse with a false ceiling obscuring whatever remains of the balcony and top of the proscenium arch. There is a substantial amount of damaged plasterwork on the lower levels of the walls and stage, which indicate it was once a rather impressive auditorium. The entrance seems to have been on a side road, Oswald Terrace, the long flank to the main Seaside Lane is now covered with metal sheeting.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Ian on January 11, 2008 at 4:05 pm

This cinema was operated by Yoden Theatres who owned a small circuit in the area, including the Horden Picture House and the Super Cinema Blackhall Colliery. It appears to have closed mid 1970’s, certainly by mid 1980’s it was being used for carpet sales.

Three photographs from January 2008 here:–

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JGC on February 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm

As I recall the main entrance was on Seaside Lane – the surviving doors in the photo being used as an exit when the audience rushed out to avoid the National Anthem played at the end of every performance. Also thought I recognised the Rialto’s side wall in one of the Billy Elliot film locations.

NThomson on January 10, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Would be interesting to see what remains inside this former cinema, look like this theatre had a fly tower Has anyone got any information

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