Rialto Theatre

709 Market Street,
Chattanooga, TN 37402

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Rialto Theatre, Chattanooga, TN in 1926

The Rialto Theatre opened in 1919 from what I found with seating for 812. It was located on Market Street at East Seventh Street. The Rilato closed in the early 60’s and has since been demolished.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

William on October 25, 2006 at 3:45 pm

The Rialto Theatre was one of the local theatres that was part of the Paramount chain.

blanks on June 27, 2007 at 5:57 pm

I recall a Rialto Theater in the 1950’s, but not at the location you have listed. I believe it was located on East Main Street.
The only theaters on Market during the late 40’s early 50’s were Cameo, Capitol, State/Martin, Dixie and Rogers.

blanks on June 27, 2007 at 6:10 pm

Sorry, I was confusing the Rialto with the Strand on E. Main. However, I believe the Rialto disappeared in the mid to late 1940’s and not the 1960’s.

BobG on November 15, 2007 at 3:17 pm

I was raised in the Chattanooga area in the 50’s. The original Rialto was located on the west side of Market St. near the intersection with Seventh St. It was next to the old Hamilton National Bank Building, now First Tennessee. It was closed in the mid to late 40s. It was replaced by a Federal Bake Shop and a remodled McLellan dime store. The name was moved up Market St after the original Rialto closed and the name was placed on the Cameo Theater which was across Market St. from the Capitol Theater. A current book available at Chattanooga book stores shows a picture of the block of Market Street showing the Rialto’s vertical sign. A picture of the block with the Cameo Theater is also in the book.

The Dixie Theater was across Market Street from the Rogers Theater. It did have entrances on Market St. and on Georgia Ave.

blanks on November 16, 2007 at 4:29 pm

I now recall the Rialto burning and then replaced by a remodeled McLellans dime store. However, I can’t recall the Cameo getting the marquee, but don’t doubt your memory (mine’s a bit fuzzy. )
I frequented the Dixie and Cameo because they showed all the old B Westerns. Also the Capitol with their B list of films. The State had the Roy Rogers Riders Club and Mickey Mouse club on Saturday mornings (with Miss Tina).
I’ll see if I can find that book you’re referring.

BobG on November 16, 2007 at 4:46 pm

I did not know about the Rialto burning. Barnes and Noble had the book the last time I was in the store. Pictures appear in two different books on Chattanooga’s past. One is a large “coffee table” book. The picture of the Cameo still has the Cameo vertical sign.

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