Art Cinema

255 Franklin Avenue,
Hartford, CT 06114

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Art Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Rialto Theatre was built in 1919 and is Hartford’s last operating classic movie house. In 1941, the Rialto Theatre was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. It was also part of a chain that included the Colonial Theatre, Lenox Theatre and Lyric Theatre in Hartford, and the Central Theatre in West Hartford. When business waned, it started showing art films in the 1950’s, hence the name Art Cinema.

Nowadays, however, it is the last remaining adult cinema in town and has been showing X-Rated features for decades. The theater seats 601 (350 on the main level, 251 on the balcony) and still has a 35mm projector, but it is not used at all because the adult films are on video.

The Art Cinema is now run by Ernest Grecula Jr., having previously been run by his father, and has been in the family for 40 years.

Contributed by Roger Katz

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 9, 2012 at 4:53 am

This web page about the Lyric Theatre says that its architect, Edward T. Wiley, also designed the Art Cinema.

thisisjohnbook
thisisjohnbook on January 24, 2013 at 2:49 am

Their website (which is work safe) features some nice interior shots of the theater. The digital projector is located right off of the upper/center balcony.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 24, 2013 at 7:08 am

Whose website? The Art Cinema does not have one AFAIK.

tgunn
tgunn on June 18, 2013 at 1:41 am

New here, and looking to go to art cinema. How is it?? Do many women attend? And do you have any suggestions or helpful hints to help me navigate? Thanks very much …t gunn

adult_theatre
adult_theatre on September 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm

This place is just FANTASTIC.

www.theartcinema.com

NoW
NoW on March 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Beware, my friend was sexually assaulted by some male patrons in this theater and no one stopped it. She was unaware that this was a XXX theater and when the movie started she was pinned to her seat and assaulted. Isn’t there security here??

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 6, 2014 at 9:31 pm

How could she possibly unaware that this was an XXX theatre? The movie listings are in the daily newspaper, there are posters all over the lobby showing what is playing, signs about no minors allowed, and it has been showing adult movies for roughly fifty years. There is practically no way NOT to know what this theatre is.

NoW
NoW on March 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Why or how my friend did not know about the type of films shown here is not the point. My question is about security measures taken. There are sexual predators who go to this theater and people who plan to go there should be aware of that. So I will ask again: isn’t there security here??

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 8, 2014 at 5:18 pm

No, there isn’t security. It is a small theatre run only by the owner. People go to this type of business precisely to have encounters with strangers.

kylerodgers
kylerodgers on October 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm

https://vimeo.com/78397616 I made a short documentary on the theater. shows the inside and the history of the theater.

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