Rialto now dark
SOUTH PASADENA, CA — My wife and I battled our way along the insane freeways of California to say “goodbye” to South Pasadena’s venerable Rialto Theatre.
This was our only visit and found the old lady looking very stressed-out -the facade looked like a bad case of sunburn from decades ago. In fact it must be countless decades since the structure, in and outside ever saw any TLC.
Entering the almost pitch black auditorium we were welcomed by the wonderful sounds of George Wrights recorded pipe organ music… so lovely, but not the NON-air conditioned atmosphere which smelled hot and very stale. The latter must have come from the rock-hard, ancient seats. No wonder the audiences moved away.
Typical of a dying theater, Landmark put nothing into their final presentation of a once magnificent palace, as did others all too numerous to mention; The balcony was locked-up like Fort Knox, the faded bare screen had a faint glow of a few footlight bulbs and, I was told, “the curtains don’t work.” Just like the on-going infestation of boujoir multiplexes.
We were amusingly entertained by 15 minutes of forth-coming previews of movies scheduled in the next year or so. How quaint that H.Q. didn’t do their homework.
I read that Landmark still hold a lengthy lease, but if they don’t care, then who will? Surely not the next renting tenants? Maybe the City of Pasadena will add their clout to the facade’s appearance?
UPDATE 8/23: Nice recollections from the LAist.