424 W. Main Street,
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The largest theater in the small town (about 20,000 population) of Denison, it was the first run movie palace in the city from the time it was built in 1920, and it opened on August 4, 1920, billing itself as “Denison’s All-Time Greatest Movie Palace”. It was built by L.M. Rideouton but was sold to the Interstate Theaters chain in 1935. On August 25, 1948 the World Premiere of Howard Hawks western “Red River” starring John Wayne was held at the Rialto Theater. Interstate operated the theater through the 1960’s, but by the time it closed in August 1977, it was locally owned.
It had a revival in the early-1980’s, again showing first run films, but the local owner could not compete with the multi-theater located in a nearby shopping mall. Sometime in the 1990’s, the Rialto Theater was turned into a concert setting and is still open today — balcony and all — and weekly live country music shows are staged there.
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