Rialto Theater

13 Pennington Avenue,
Trenton, NJ 08618

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Listed as operating in the 1951 FDY, this theater has been closed for many years, since the late 60s or early 70s.

From MikeH’s post on the Trenton Strand:

“Our neighborhood theatres were all typical old neighborhood theatres. …. On Pennington Avenue near Warren (right off the five points for those who know Trenton) was the Rialto. …. The only one that Dad owned outright was the Rialto if I remember correctly. The rest he owned percentages ranging from 50 to 25%. The Rialto was the first theatre I ever managed. I was sixteen. It was there that I learned that I liked the business but did not like working for my father who was the toughest boss I ever had. All of these theatres were nice but ordinary neighborhood theatres, none of which we built (other than the Strand) but aquired from other people. They were all about 700-900 seats and all second-run”.

Contributed by tc

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

RickB on June 26, 2005 at 2:13 pm

According to a nostalgia columnist in the Trenton Times, in the 1930s neighborhood residents nicknamed this theater “The Ranch” because it played mostly Westerns.

hondo59 on November 1, 2005 at 7:11 am

The Rialto was razed in the late 1980s.

teecee on March 15, 2006 at 4:04 pm

Listed in the 1920 Trenton directory as the “Park Theatre, moving pictures, 13 Pennington av”

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hondo59 on March 30, 2006 at 6:44 am

According to my father, the projection booth was accessed via an iron latter. This neighborhood movie house was located in the Battle Monument area of Trenton.

teecee on May 29, 2006 at 1:54 pm

Could have been known as the Majestic. There is a listing for this theater name in the 1917 Trenton City Directory, page 126, under “Moving Pictures” at 15 Pennington av. No listing for the Rialto.

In 1923, the Rialto is listed with no address.

The Rialto is listed in the 1925 Trenton City Directory at 13 Pennington Av. In 1936, the Rialto is listed at 15 Pennington av.

Hari on September 10, 2008 at 10:40 am

My best friend’s grandfather, who we called Popouli, ran a hot dog concession that was part of the Rialto. The concession had a counter that opened out on Pennington Ave. So, you could buy hot dogs without going into the theater. I can’t remember whether the stand was accessible from inside the theater, too. Maybe MikeH remembers or someone else can clear that up.

RickB on April 25, 2009 at 7:50 am

The 1975 photo is misidentified. The street sign in the picture reads North Clinton Avenue and Meade Street, making that building the Princess Theater.

itswagon on March 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm

I suspect the owner of the Rialto also had an interest in the American located on Princeton Avenue just North of Ingham Avenue. It later became a 5 and 10 cent store. You could see the booth in the 5 and 10 cent store that was used as an office. A Bicyclist ran the films from the Rialto to the American. This according to my father and other North Trenton residents.

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