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Johnny D. You can contact me at
I was assistant manager of Louisvilleâ€™s Rialto Theatre from January 1968 until it closed on July 31, 1968. I was the last person to leave the theatre the night it closed. It was a sad day for Louisville and me.
The Rialtoâ€™s architecture style was French Renaissance. It was very similar to the Palace Theatre in Columbus, Ohio. The Rialto was Louisvilleâ€™s first Cinerama theatre, converted in the early 1960â€™s. It continued to play roadshow engagements until its demise.
I was assistant manager of the Louisville United Artist Theatre (now the Louisville Palace) from 1958 to 1967. The theatreâ€™s 13 rank Wurlitzer Organ was not removed from the theatre until 1978. A local coal operator had purchased the theatre â€œto restore itâ€ sold the organ to a pizza parlor in Atlanta. The organ was removed in the middle of the night to avoid criticism. He also auctioned the original furnishings and accessories of the theatreâ€™s lobby and mezzanine. I was fortunate enough to purchase a bench and chair which I still own.
The theatre was originally named the Loweâ€™s and United Artistsâ€™ State Theatre when it opened on September 1, 1928. I have an original of the full-page newspaper ad for the opening that lists the contractors and suppliers for the theatre.
I was also assistant manager of Louisville Rialto Theatre during its last year, 1968.