228 E. 4th Street,
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Opened in 1920, the Rialto was designed by noted local architect Robert K. Fuller in the heart of downtown Loveland. When it opened, the Loveland Daily Herald declared the Rialto the finest theater north of Denver. It seated over 1000, and contained a balcony, orchestra pit and dressing rooms.
Designed primarily for silent movies, the Rialto also hosted vaudeville shows in its early years, as well as local talent shows and graduation ceremonies. In 1935, the theater was purchased by the Gibraltar Theater Group, who modernized the Rialto, though much of its original decor was untouched.
Gibraltar owned the theater until 1947, and from then until 1977 was run by a series of owners. It remained a popular venue for the majority of those years.
In 1977, the Rialto finally went dark and was converted into a mini-mall and office space. Most of its original decoration was lost at this time. By 1987, the mall was vacant.
That same year, the Loveland Downtown Development Authority recognized the Rialto as a possible anchor for the rebirth of the historical downtown area. Plans were drawn up to return the Rialto to it’s 1920 splendor for use as a performing arts center. It wasn’t until early 1996, however, that the Rialto, fully returned to its original appearance, and was reopened.
The theater was turned over to the City of Loveland two years later. Today, the Rialto hosts everything from silent film screenings to children’s theater to rock concerts.
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