219 N. Harbor Boulevard,
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Previously operated by: Fox Circuit
Architects: Frank K. Benchley
Styles: Art Deco
The Rialto Theater never made it beyond the age of silent movies. According to a local history book, the building was built in 1905 and used as a movie theater from October 1, 1917.
In 1925, its manager left to become the first manager of the Alician Court Theater (now the shuttered Fox Theater which has its own page on Cinema Treasures), which became the place to go in town. Newspaper movie listings show that the Rialto Theater hung around at least until its closure in 1927, charging reduced admissions for films like those starring Flash the wonder dog, MGM’s answer to Rin Tin Tin. By this time the Alician Court Theater, with its name changed to the Mission Court Theater, was playing the latest Douglas Fairbanks swashbuckler and preparing to become Orange County’s first sound-equipped theatre.
In 1930, the Rialto Theater was converted to a bank with its exterior remodeled to zig-zag modern style by architects Walker & Eisen, completely unrecognizable from its vintage photographs. Having been used in recent years for retail uses, it is now called the Rialto Building and can be seen in downtown Fullerton today.
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