Rialto Theatre

1481 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 151 - 160 of 160 comments

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 30, 2004 at 12:48 pm

When it was a porno house in the early 1970’s, I believe the 42nd Street entrance led to a second screen located in the basement. But you could also access the main theatre, entering at the rear behind the screen. I think.

dave-bronx™ on August 30, 2004 at 12:31 pm

Wasn’t there a second screen here that Cineplex didn’t use, with the entrance on 42nd Street?

DougDouglass on March 14, 2004 at 4:12 pm

During the Telestudios days, facilities were used by WNTA-Channel 13 (Newark, NJ) as their New York production center.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 6, 2004 at 1:49 pm

There were actually two Rialtos. The first one, built on the site of the demolished Hammerstein’s Victoria Theatre, opened on April 21, 1916, and is the Rialto shown above in the color postcard. This Rialto was demolished around 1932 and replaced by a much-smaller Rialto that was part of an office building. For quite a few years, the second Rialto was managed by Arthur Mayer, who made it a legendary showcase for horror and gangster movies. His exploits were described in his memoir, “Merely Colossal,” which is well worth reading.

wrauffer on February 25, 2004 at 5:16 pm

In 1959 Telestudios started operations on the 4th floor producing the 1st videotape commercials for major advertising agencies.
It became MGM Telestudios in 1962, many tv engineering first.
Closed in 1965
In 1966 NBC produced daily soap “The Doctors"
1968 Channel 9 WOR-TV moved all studios, videotape & master control to the 4th floor.
In 1980 Times Square Studios began daily operations.

RobertR on February 11, 2004 at 12:52 pm

EdSolero you are right about the theatre being used as a visitors center. When the theatre first closed they used the lobby for some sort of virtual reality ride. Cineplex did a nice job on the renovations but even though they opened the theatre with the Broadway entrance, it waas still too close to 42nd Street for many movie goers.

William on February 11, 2004 at 12:43 pm

The Rialto Theatre was located at 1481 Broadway.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 11, 2003 at 7:59 pm

During the very early stages of the redevelopment of 42nd street and Times Square maybe 10 or 12 years ago, I believe the outer lobby of the Rialto was used as a crude and temporary Visitors Information center or perhaps a volunteer center with information available about the plans to clean up and reclaim the area. Today, the shell of the old Newsreel Theater (later known as the Embassy 1) serves as the official Times Square Visitors Information Center. Anyway, I remember my Grandfather telling me that this is the theater where many of those classic Universal horror films (Dracula, Frankenstein) of the 30’s and 40’s would premier.

richarddziadzio on May 28, 2002 at 10:58 am

Around 1979 Cineplex Odeon remodeled the theatre very nicely, even renaming it the Warner for a short time after their big Warner on 47th St. closed.

frenchjr25 on January 7, 2002 at 9:52 am

For those interested there is a wonderful photo of this theatre in “The Best Remaining Seats” by Ben M. Hall.