45 Millbury Street,
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An Italian immigrant, Fred Fedeli, along with his brother and his cousin saved up 1,800 dollars and leased the Bijou Theater from someone Mr. Fedeli called “Lawyer Katz”.
They played silent films there. A few years later they were approached by a man who said he was going to build a new theater across the street. They thought they were going to have competition, but the man actually wanted them to run it. They got a ten year lease on this new “Rialto” theater and before the lease was up they had bought it.
The Bijou Theatre was later turned into a five-and-dime store and as of 1978 the building was still there. From what I gather, it sounds like the both the old Bijou Theatre and the Rialto Theatre were located at Eighth and Millbury Street in what was at the time a working-class immigrant neighborhood.
The Rialto Theatre was still operating in 1950.
For more information, there’s a 1978 audio interview with Mr. Fedeli (with transcript) available at
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