255 Franklin Avenue,
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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.
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