Rialto Cinemas Cerrito

10070 San Pablo Avenue,
El Cerrito, CA 94530

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Related Websites

Rialto Cinemas (Official), Friends of the Cerrito Theater

Additional Info

Operated by: Rialto Cinemas

Previously operated by: Blumenfeld Theater Circuit

Architects: William Bernard David

Functions: Movies (Film Festivals), Movies (First Run)

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Cerrito Theater

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 510.273.9102

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News About This Theater

Rialto Cinemas Cerrito

The historic Cerrito Theatre in El Cerrito, California, with its incredible Art Deco style murals and decorative interior, is one of the city’s hidden treasures.

Opened in December 1937 with 644-seats, and closed since the 1950’s, the Cerrito Theatre used recently by Kiefer’s Furniture as storage.

Fortunately, the City of El Cerrito Redevelopment District working with Friends of the Cerrito Theatre, brought this old movie house back to life.

It re-opened on November 1, 2006, as the Cerrito Speakeasy closing in May 2009. On July 15, 2009 it reopened as Rialto Cinemas Cerrito with 287 seats.

Contributed by Lori Dair, Melissa Hatheway

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

kencmcintyre on December 23, 2008 at 6:54 pm

The Cerrito opened in December 1937, according to Boxoffice magazine, at a cost of $150,000. The owner at the opening was the Blumenfield Theaters chain.

scottfavareille on May 20, 2009 at 8:01 am

Unfortunately, according to this mornings Contra Costa Times, the Cerrito Theater is now “closed indefinitely” as the Fischers have ran out of money. The Redevelopment Agency of El Cerrito pulled their lease recently as the Fischers have not paid their $10,000 a month rent on the theater for the last 18 months. (Their other theater, the Parkway in Oakland, shuttered in April due to financial issues & declining attendance.) They have blamed the shutdown on the economy, lack of access to first-run movies, increased construction costs, etc.

This is sad but me thinks that the best solution may be to try opoperating a theater

scottfavareille on May 20, 2009 at 8:03 am

that shows Chinese/Hong Kong fare (there is a good Asian population there, and they can cross-market to nearby UC Berkeley as the theater is easily accessible by public transit).

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 15, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I don’t want to be a killjoy. But I’m not sure how much money is left in exhibition of foreign films. I’m sure DVDs, internet access, etc. have taken a bite out of that business as compared to what it was twenty years ago. There is definitely a solution, I’m just not sure what it is. Whatever the case I think the recent renovation means that the theatre is safe for a while.

scottfavareille on July 6, 2009 at 10:07 am

Reopens on July 15th under the operation of Rennaisance Rialto (who operates the Elmwood in Berkeley). First attraction will be the new Harry Potter film. It sounds as if RR will be running first-run product here, unlike the Fischers.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on March 4, 2010 at 8:25 am

This is not being operated by Rennaisance Rialto. Rennaisance operates the Grand Lake and formerly the Park, Orinda and Oaks. Rialto Cinemas is a completely different guy.

mehsmom on January 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Great theater! I love it’s Art Deco interior.

Mikeyisirish on June 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

A few 2012 photos can be seen here and here.

stevenj on October 14, 2023 at 11:37 am

The 13th annual Albany Film Festival will be held at the Cerrito this year due to the nearby Albany Theatre’s closing earlier this year. Details … Here

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