Rialto Theatre

17 Warren Street,
Glens Falls, NY 12801

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Schine Circuit Inc.

Previous Names: Opera House, World of Motion

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The Opera House was opened in the 1880’s and in 1909 housed the World of Motion. It was remodeled and reopened as the Rialto Theatre on November 18, 1921. On March 23, 1925 it suffered damage from a fire. It was rebuilt and reopened on November 21, 1925. In 1931 it became part of the Schine Circuit, and they operated the theatre until 1961. It was taken over by the Panther Theatre Group who operated the Rialto theatre until its closure on March 30, 1969 with a screening of Walt Disney’s “Pinocchio”. It was demolished in October 1969.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 29, 2014 at 9:35 pm

According to a list in Our Movie Houses: A History of Film & Cinematic Innovation in Central New York, by Norman O. Keim, the Schine circuit operated the Rialto Theatre in Glens Falls from 1931 to 1966. The Rialto was mentioned in Variety on February 18, 1921, which said that the house was playing Keith vaudeville while the rival Empire Theatre was playing Shubert vaudeville.

The Empire appears to have won this particular battle of the vaudeville war, as by July 2 the Empire was still offering five acts of Shubert vaudeville along with a feature film, while the Rialto was showing only movies, according to their ads in that day’s edition of the Glens Falls Post-Star.

The Rialto was reseated in 1938. The middle photo on this page of the January 7, 1939, issue of Boxoffice shows a section of the new Heywood-Wakefield chairs on the orchestra floor.

dallasmovietheaters on November 16, 2017 at 10:40 pm

The address and its entertainment roots dated back to 1871 where the Glens Falls Opera House stood from construction to fire in 1884 that destroyed the building. The opera house was rebuilt and in 1909 housed its first movie theatre called The World of Motion on the second floor.

Rialto Theatre Corp. came in launching the much improved Rialto Theatre on November 18, 1921. As noted, Schine took on the theatre in January of 1937 and would revamp the theatre a year later.

In 1961, the Panther Theatre Corp. took over the theatre running it to its last day which was a showing of Pinocchio on March 30, 1969. After a salvage sale, the theatre was razed in October of 1969 as part of an urban renewal program.

50sSNIPES on April 21, 2023 at 4:07 pm

The Rialto Theatre was destroyed by a large fire on March 23, 1925, which also suffered damage from its hotel as well. It was rebuilt and reopened on November 21, 1925.

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