Rialto Theater

Main Street,
Boaz, AL 35957

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The photo at the link below is the Rialto Theater in Boaz, Alabama. Any further information on the Rialto Theater would be appreciated.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 13, 2005 at 6:54 am

The following info comes from hsvmovies.com:

“Rialto Theatre
Opening date: 1924/03/10

First movie shown: Little Johnny Jones

The Rialto Theatre opened on March 10, 1924 and was located on Main Street in Boaz in the former M. L. Mount store. The first show was ????Little Johnny Jones????, a comedy starring Johnny Hines. Carl Medlock was manager 1924-1956 and the theatre Seated 500. In 1929, the theatre was fitted for sound. The theatre was owned by Marshall County Enterprise, Inc., owned by Col. Thomas E. Orr and C. W. Woodall (in 1932 Woodall sold interest to Orr). Martin Theatres bought the Rialto in 1953. The first location was 105 South Main Street, which was rented to Mastin’s in 1941. Mastin’s leveled the floor and later bought the building. The second location was 109 South Main Street, which was occupied July 4, 1940 until the theatre closed. The original spelling of the theatre name in the grand opening ad and the article about the opening was ????Rialtor????“.

I’m not sure why there are two addresses given. Either the theater moved or it was expanded since the numbers are only four digits apart.

KenRoe on December 13, 2005 at 7:25 am

The Film Daily Yearbooks;1941 and 1943 editions list the Rialto Theatre with a seating capacity of 200. This must have been the first theatre located at 105 South Main Street. Obviously they were not up-dated to cover the move (or expansion) to 109 South Main Street. By the time the 1950 edition of F.D.Y. was published, it is listed with a seating capacity of 500.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 13, 2005 at 7:48 am

Ken….The hsvmovies.com website lists four “old” movie theaters in Boaz. They are the Tate, Rialto, Strand and Royal. The following info is given for the Strand and Royal theaters:

“Royal Theatre
Opening date: 1916/07/27

First movie shown: A Battle Cry of Peace

The Royal Theatre opened on Thursday, July 27, 1916 and the first show was ????A Battle Cry of Peace????. The building was located in Boaz next door to Boaz Drugs".

“Strand Theatre
The Strand Theatre opened in 1914 in Boaz and was located on West Mill Avenue, and later moved to North Main Street where Hammer’s is now located. It was operated by Van and Lola Wesson. It later moved to South Main Street where Mastin’s Home Supply is now. The present theatre building is at 111 South Main Street and was built in 1939 and bought by the Martin chain until it moved in 1966. This movie house had been known as the Strand, Royal, and finally the Rialto”.

Were the Royal and Strand theaters actually former names for the Rialto or were they differant theaters? They all have differant addresses. Were there multiple Rialto Theaters?

KenRoe on December 13, 2005 at 8:58 am

Even in 1950 the population of Boaz, AL was only 1,927. I would guess that this theatre must have ‘moved’ (not physically lifted up and moved) but ‘moved’ into another already existing building, until 1939/1940 when it finally settled.

KenRoe on December 13, 2005 at 9:06 am

On the photo of the Rialto Theatre linked above, the titles on the marquee date it at around 1929. “Mother Knows Best” (1928) and “Collegians” (1926).

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 13, 2005 at 10:47 am

This one has me puzzled. I can believe that the Strand, Royal and Rialto are all the same theater. It’s the different addresses that are causing the confusion. I would give the Rialto theater the 105 South Main Street address and hope that someone from Boaz comes here to clear this up.

Samantha74 on August 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I have no idea how I came to this site but I joined so I could give you some info and maybe clear up a tiny bit of confusion. I have lived in Boaz, AL for 31 years, my father was born & raised here. I called to get this info from my dad & a friend of his.

The Rialto was the theater in the very old & tall building, I will try to get a photo of it in it’s current state. But there was at one time two theaters here, they couldn’t remember the name of it. I’m going to try researching and try to find out for you all. There are some links that I could share with old photos, if that is allowed??

Samantha74 on August 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Thanks! I was just looking at that link. I will keep asking and searching, kinda fun & interesting!!

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