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Here are excerpts from the NY Times review of this house’s last picture, “Werewolf of London”
The Rialto Theatre, which began its career as a picture house on the night of April 22, 1916, by showing Douglas Fairbanks’s “The Good Bad Man,” is bidding farewell to Times Square this week with a nerve-jangling exhibit called “The Werewolf of London.” The theatre will be demolished after the last screening of the picture next Wednesday night, but a new Rialto will be erected on the site and open its doors to the public some time in October.
Designed solely to amaze and horrify, the film goes about its task with commendable thoroughness, sparing no grisly detail… Granting that the central idea has been used before, the picture still rates the attention of action-and-horror enthusiasts. It is a fitting valedictory for the old Rialto, which has become melodrama’s citadel among Times Square’s picture houses.
The first time I saw Gone With the Wind was here in the late 70s/early 80s, with a wretched 70mm print that cropped the image at the top and bottom and seemed to be terrbily out of focus, even after changing my seat several times and complaining to the manager (who stated that was because of the curved screen!)
I couldn’t believe that this was the number one box office attraction of all time. I was really disappointed, until I saw it again years later in the proper ratio and clarity. Of course it’s magnificent.
Recent photo added
Tova, I hope you check the site from time to time to share some memories of your grandparents. I was really quite fond of them, happy to share my experiences with you
Screen sizes, however, seem to remain the same.
New doors, really…?
That auditorium looks so wide; how was it divided for the triplex, and then where were the other two added screens?
Two photos added
There are Orpheum theaters coast to coast, I’m not sure this is the little one on Second Avenue…
A photo of the screening room would be appreciated.
Two photos from their Facebook page added to photos
I just spotted this theater in a new Sprint commercial
Donald, watch this episode of Undercover Boss and then call the mayor. She wants to improve Gary; share your ideas with her.
There’s an extremely quick shot of the vintage marquee in the recent Undercover Boss set in Gary, at about the six minute mark.
There was a quick shot of the marquee on a recent Undercover Boss set in Gary, at about 30 minutes in.
Four new photos added December 18, 2016.
November 23, 2016
I think the overview paragraphs need an updating…
So, is this place start of the art, or a fading dump?
I wonder how business is, now that the Alamo Drafhouse has opened down the road a bit…
Any news? It’s been about 20 months since the announcement…
Orlando, you’re one of the few voices here that I trust, so this does seem like very promising news.
I wonder what was to become of the theater already in that shopping center, i.e., AIT’s Mayfair which apparently lasted until 1984.
hdtv267 is not the annoying one here, although his responding to every asinine post can get a little tiring.
This is not a blog about current attractions, ticket sales, etc. Please find somewhere else to discuss those matters…
Excerpt from the NY Times review dated April 26, 1941:
The Rialto is following tradition this week in celebrating a quarter of a century of purveying movies to the public with a new screen-and-squeal item, “The Black Cat,” a comedy thriller suggested by a Poe short story…