Rialto Theatre

812 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90015

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Showing 1 - 25 of 63 comments

rivest266 on September 6, 2019 at 5:46 pm

May 21st, 1917 grand opening ad posted.

dallasmovietheaters on January 18, 2016 at 7:55 am

The original Quinn’s Rialto was architected by A.R. Walker in 1917 and utilized some of the aspects of the outgoing Hampshire Hotel which it replaced.

Richie_T on December 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm

It’s official. The Rialto has been converted into an Urban Outfitters. The interior is pretty cool. They were projecting old black and white films onto the former screen wall during their grand opening. Will drop by with my camera soon.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 8, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Rialto marquee is shown running at night in the Eddie Murphy movie 48 Hours.

William on August 8, 2010 at 11:02 am

Some of the issues about the drop ceiling that posters have asked is that this theatre. Went through a earthquake retrofit that many older buildings had to do. The two theatres on Broadway that had to do the retrofit were Rialto and Cameo. On Hollywood Blvd. Mann’s Hollywood and Mann’s Fox Theatres were done. During Rialto’s retrofit they added the dropped ceiling and redid the seating and carpets. The theatre looked really nice after the job.

MJsBadGirl on August 8, 2010 at 10:36 am

Yes Michael Jackson’s Thriller video does show the Palace theater but it was the Rialto theater’s interior that was used for the movie scene at the begining and Palace was used for the exterior.

DonSolosan on April 20, 2010 at 12:03 am

SiliconSam: the building was being demoed when activists stopped them; that’s why it looks the way it does.

Penway: the Esther Williams on the marquee was left over from when they shot The Mambo Kings next door at the Tower.

Ken: that’s one marquee that I’d love to see repaired and lit up again!

drb on March 21, 2010 at 6:19 am

I finally got around to uploading my photos of the interior.

View link

acidbath on March 19, 2010 at 2:50 am

Who is in charge of this venue, and is there a lease on it?

Ross Care
Ross Care on February 6, 2010 at 3:50 am

A few years ago you could still make out the name of Esther Williams in those black plastic letters on the marquee of the Rialto. I have a photo somewhere.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on August 17, 2009 at 2:45 am

Life’s too short: Probably asbestos abatement is why the ceiling is missing.

aarfeld: The Thriller video shows the Palace Theater, not this one.

kencmcintyre on August 17, 2009 at 1:18 am

Here is a 1983 night photo that shows the Tower, Rialto and Orpheum:

aarfeld on July 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm

After the untimely death of Michael Jackson last week, I have to ask: Is this the Rialto Theater in Los Angeles where part of the Thriller video was shot?

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 6, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Somebody got inside the Rialto’s auditorium with a camera. I can’t quite tell if the original ceiling has been destroyed because the photos are so dark. To my eye it looks like a drop ceiling was installed, and that is what was ripped out:

View link

There are about ten photos here. Use the index to view the rest.

drb on April 9, 2009 at 5:49 pm

From the LAHTF’s email flyer:

Contact: Hillsman Wright – 310 403-0865

For immediate release â€" 4/7/09

The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation www.lahtf.org
Invites You & Your Friends to Attend
All About the Tower/Rialto/Olympic (Bardâ€\s 8th St.)
Saturday, April 18, 10:30 am â€" Doors open at 10:00 am
Tower Theatre * 802 S. Broadway * Downtown Los Angeles
Special thanks to the Delijani family

The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation (LAHTF) takes its popular All About… series to three theatres near the intersection of Broadway and 8th Street, the Tower (1927), Rialto (1917), and Olympic (Bardâ€\s Eighth Street Theatre, 1927) on Saturday, April 18, 10:30 am. The public is invited to attend.

Show & Tell
Theatre historian Ed Kelsey will present a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation on the storied past of these three very different theatres and relate fascinating tales about the out-sized impresarios â€" Gumbiner, Quinn, Bard, Grauman, Corwin â€" who built and operated them.

Tours will explore the far reaches of the theatresâ€\ public areas, support spaces, and stages to provide attendees with an insiderâ€\s, behind-the-scenes look at three of Broadwayâ€\s smaller theatres.

LAHTF volunteers will explain how you can get hands-on experience saving, restoring and programming great theatres in Los Angeles by becoming actively involved with the LAHTF. There will be announcements of a series of exciting events coming to historic theatres on Broadway soon.

Make it a day Downtown.
Join us at Cliftonâ€\s Cafeteria immediately following the event to continue the discussion.
Shop for bargains in the nearby Garment District, Broadwayâ€\s shops and Grand Central Market.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: Save the Dates: May 16, June 13 & 20.

Many people are fascinated by the architecture of fantasy so beautifully on display in Southern Californiaâ€\s great historic theatres. People are also curious about how the theatres work. What does it look like backstage? What do the performers see when they look out across the footlights? Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation’s “All About” series gives the public an insider’s look at these wonderful theatres and share parts of their histories – good and bad – as a way to encourage people to become actively involved in protecting and ensuring their futures.

The LAHTF is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, restoring and supporting the operation of Southern Californiaâ€\s historic theatres. For more information visit www.lahtf.org

smoogie42 on January 3, 2009 at 2:11 am

While going to college, I got a job at the Rialto in 1961, after about a month they made you assistant mgr. what a great job, hiring the usherettes and candy girls..They outfitted us with brand new tuxedoes and blck patent leather shoes for the evening shift. afterwards we would head up to hollywood and play the role..
I remember it as agreat job..not much money, but lots of benefits. Downtown L.A. in the earl 60’s was still very cosmopolitan, and an exciting place to be..15 years later I brought my wife and 4 kids to L.A. to show them where I worked .we were scared to death walking thru that part of town..but I still loved the old movie houses of Broadway.

Bob Ferguson

kencmcintyre on October 4, 2008 at 12:16 am

Here is a January 1947 ad from the LA Times:

monika on August 8, 2008 at 11:19 pm

The Rialto Theatre on July 27, 2008:
View link

monika on July 29, 2008 at 1:17 pm

I posted a diptych of the Tower and the Rialto on my Flickr page:
View link

William on March 12, 2008 at 1:42 pm

The double feature is “Today” (Majestic Pictures-Nov.1, 1930) with Conrad Nagel and “Liliom” (Fox-Oct.5,1930) with Charles Farrell and Estelle Taylor.

vokoban on March 12, 2008 at 7:58 am

Well, he made a movie that was released on Nov. 1, 1930 called TODAY. I think that’s what it says in the the upper right hand corner of the front of the marquee. It might also say ‘today’ as something that was going on that actual day…I can’t see it that well.