Rialto Theatre

1625 North Franklin Street,
Tampa, FL 33602

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Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 7, 2011 at 10:35 am

Great shots Andy,glad I am checking on my Tampa theatres today,a lot of NEW pictures to enjoy.You are right about Downtown areas Nick,Be careful guys.

Nunzienick on February 2, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Just saw your posting Andy. Great shots! You were lucky to have gotten inside. Nice shot of the proscenium arch…looks like the theatre had a nice-size screen. I drive down Florida Avenue at least once a week when I leave downtown. I always look towards the rear of the building as I pass by and see the faded “Rialto Theatre” lettering painted at the top rear. As much as I would love to see the interior I never had the nerve to park and walk to the building with all those unsavory characters lurking about in that area. I’m glad to hear the building is at least being used and not abandoned to deteriorate further. Thanks for the photos!

AndyCallahanMajorMajor on December 22, 2010 at 11:58 pm

I visited the Rialto again last week. I was able to get inside the theater and take a look around. It’s still being used as a warehouse and has more or less been gutted. The projection window is still visible, as is the giant arch over the stage. My two interior and two exterior shots are visible here.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 27, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Love the pictures,Nick. I saw the “JAWS” AD with Bill.Great.

Nunzienick on May 27, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Here’s the photo I was searching for. A crowd awaits entrance to “HOTEL BERLIN” in 1945.
Note the banner now signifying the name change to Cinema.
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 25, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Beautiful pictures,Just got in from working BEAUTY and the BEAST what a killer show. Almost a five hour out.I mean Killer show,nothing went right Backstage,Charlie knows. Catch you later nick,this old stagehand is beat to the DAWG BONE.

Nunzienick on April 24, 2010 at 12:52 am

I had seen a really nice photo showing a crowd of people lined up outside awaiting entrance to a movie called “Hotel Berlin” What’s unique about this photo is that it shows the name of this theatre had apparently been changed from Rialto to The Cinema. But now I can’t seem to find this photo anywhere! I thought it was part of the photo collection at the library but it’s not listed within the collection. If it was ever part of the collection then it’s been removed. If I ever see it again I’ll post it.

Here’s another view of the building taken on 11/19/31:
View link

And another view taken on 5/2/25:
View link

Jorge on October 19, 2009 at 11:53 am

This is SO awesome…never knew a theater was there! Love this site! The site of the abandoned area is visually “haunting” in its own way.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 12, 2009 at 1:29 pm

The date given for this photo is October 29, 1943.

historictheatresintampa on August 31, 2008 at 9:30 am

Please provide any stories or information that you might have about this theatre (or any single-screen theatre in Tampa) here… http://historictheatresintampa.blogspot.com
This will assist us in preserving the history surrounding these theatres in Tampa. Thank you!!

KenRoe on September 9, 2007 at 8:08 am

Listed in the 1941 & 1943 editions on Film Daly Yearbook with a seating capacity of 375. The 1950 edition of Film Daily Yearbook lists it as the Cinema, 1625 N. Franklin Street, Tampa, FL with a seating capacity given as 530.

drumrboy36 on September 9, 2007 at 7:31 am

Looks like they want to put in a private club.
View link

kencmcintyre on April 4, 2007 at 12:27 pm

Here is another photo from the Tampa Library. I could do without the annoying logo:

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 24, 2006 at 3:07 pm

The link that ken mc posted does work. The Rialto in that photo appears to be an 8 screen multiplex which could be the Rialto 8 located at:
1105 Alonzo Drive
The Villages, FL 32159

irvl on March 23, 2006 at 4:51 pm

The website listed by Ken MC doesn’t come up when I click on the URL. I’d surely like to see if the pic he references is of Orlando’s Rialto Theatre.

kencmcintyre on March 23, 2006 at 3:33 pm

This photo is a Rialto theater in Florida. There is a vague resemblance to the old picture posted by Lost Memory, but the top of the buildings don’t match. This Rialto may be a new building designed to look like a classic theater:

rhcclark on March 19, 2006 at 6:16 am

Also it seems to be currently empty or a warehouse as opposed to an auto repair shop.

rhcclark on March 19, 2006 at 6:15 am

Current address (according to Hillsbourgh County website) is 1617 N. Franklin. St. Architect according to the great photo posted above was P. J. Kennard and Son.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 14, 2005 at 9:26 am

This is a 1920’s photo of the Rialto Theater from the Tampa library. And the address should be:
1621 N Franklin St.
Tampa, FL 33602

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 26, 2005 at 7:38 pm

The following excerpts are from two articles I found on this theater:

St. Petersburg Times August 17, 2003
“As for the theater’s space, Kaplan has his eye on a brick building and is talking to the owner. We found a building we absolutely love,” he said “It’s the old Rialto theater on Franklin Street just north of I-275. It was built in 1926 as a performing arts space. In the ‘40s, it closed and then was a machine shop, which is what it is now. But the proscenium is still there, the fly house is still there, the balcony is still there. We’d build it with temporary decking and movable seating risers so we could take it from proscenium to thrust to arena on a show-to-show basis, with seating from 400 to 600 at the biggest”.

Full article:
View link

South Tampa City Times July 2, 2004
“Acorn initially wanted to open in the old Rialto theater on Franklin Street, just north of the interstate. The 1920s theater seemed the ideal spot, but the owner wanted far more than the appraised value, based on its location, Kaplan said. Financially, it just didn’t make sense”.

Full article:
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