When Interstate sold off the Rialto in 1953, Louis Novy’s Trans-Texas circuit took over operations and made some changes to downtown exhibition. First, it positioned the Melba as a Cinerama-dedicated house. It elevated the 40-year old building housing the Rialto to first-run status pouring money into the theater. Air handling, 1,500 new seats, decoration and projection were all news. Installed in the “new” Rialto was a VistaVision screen. Its first program was June 10, 1954 with the non VistaVision, “The Mad Magician” in 3-D.
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