310 First Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Paramount-Publix
Previous Names: Delphi Theatre, Crystal Theatre, Rialto Theatre
The Town Theatre was a one level movies-only theatre opened in 1907 as the Delphi Theatre. It’s stated purpose was to show “educational photoplays”. In the 1910’s, the theatre was renamed the Crystal Theatre. From August 18, 1923 it was known as the Rialto Theatre.
While the theatre was known as the Rialto Theatre it gained a not-so-flattering nickname, “the Rat-Hole”. The hotels that surrounded the theatre used to empty their trash in the alley, the rats would run through the theatre as they moved between the hotels!
In 1948, the theatre changed hands and became the Town Theatre. While it operated as the Town Theatre, it showed primarily adult films (grade Z exploitation films of the 1950’s) during the week and kiddy matinees on the weekends.
Nobody mourned the theatre when it was torn down in the late-1950’s as part of urban renewal.
More pictures and info can be found at www.jeffkorns.com
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