Rialto Theatre

22-24 W. Pike Street,
Pontiac, MI 48342

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Howland Opera House

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Rialto Theatre

The Howland Opera House was opened on March 25, 1905 and was reputed to be state-of-the-art with “new type slanting floors” and an 800-pound red asbestos curtain. It cost $40,000 and seated 1,100. Will Rogers played there, among other celebrities.

In the 1920’s it became the Rialto Theatre, with a seating capacity of 2,600 and was renovated in 1923. It was torn down in 1952. The site is now a parking lot.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 25, 2020 at 4:55 am

This item is from the December 8, 1923 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“PONTIAC, MICH. — Renovating process has given practically new interior to Rialto Theatre, formerly the Howland, on West Pike street. Improvements which cost about $10,000 include new furnishings, carpets, redecorated ceiling and side walls; new pipe organ features; new stage setting built around screen, with appropriate draperies and curtain finished in gold and black and colored artificial flowers; new ventilating system; two new Simplex machines; operator’s booth enlarged and improved; marquee and electric sign erected. Will show only first-run pictures.”

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