Designed by L.A. Smith, who did the same for the Vista Theatre in Hollywood, the Rialto opened in 1925 boasting “no less than 10 dressing rooms, a scenic loft, a green room, an orchestra pit and a deep stage,” making it suitable for a wide variety of events including the movies it showed for 30 cents admission. Now screening “The Simpsons Movie”, the theatre has alternated over the years from being a revival house theatre to showing first run films (they continue to run The Rocky Horror Picture Show as a weekend midnight staple). Recognizable in countless films, the Rialto is probably best remembered from appearing in The Player and in Scream 2 (where the theatre was screening “Stab”, a Tori Spelling movie-within-a-movie based on the events from the first Scream).
While Karie was able to confirm that the theatre will be closed, she didn’t know when, or what the future plans for the Rialto would be.
The Rialto was was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 after residents rallied to save the theatre from “revelopment”. According to a February 2004 report posted on Cinema Treasures, the City of South Pasadena discussed cutting up the Rialto into a multi-screen, converting the building into a “a public facility, incorporating the theater and using it as community space,” or keeping it as is, but with a major renovation.
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