Rialto Theater

284 W. Ferry Street,
Buffalo, NY 14213

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This is a Rialto but not the one in Buffalo

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1915, near the site of the Victoria Theater, which moved up the street. Always an independent theater, managed by the Hoch family. Had a Wurlitzer organ in the 1920’s. The original owner Andrew Hoch died in 1948, H. Hoch managed until the end, around 1952. Demolished some time later.

Contributed by Alan Lapp

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on January 31, 2008 at 5:26 am

That WurliTzer Theater Pipe Organ was a 2 Manual 4 Rank. It is not known what happened to the organ.

“Gee Dad, it "WAS” a WurliTzer!"

msean
msean on June 28, 2009 at 10:22 am

We lived on Arkansas Street back in the ‘40s and my brother and I would walk to the Rialto and sometimes to the Victoria. That was back when parents felt OK about letting a six and eight year old walk alone.

The Rialto was always a madhouse on Saturdays with kids running and making so much noise you could hardly hear the movie. When we were in a more subdued mood we would go to the Victoria. They had ushers imported from Nazi Germany who made everyone stay in their seat and keep quiet.

In what to a child was a lifetime later, I ended up in the machine shop of the Wurlitzer Plant making parts for the Rialto’s organ while working my way through college.

alknobloch
alknobloch on September 7, 2009 at 3:51 am

Hey msean (or anyone else with a good memory) -
Did this theater have a marquee that came straight out over the entire sidewalk like a large roof that was supported by poles at the curb? I lived on Herkimer in the 40’s and 50’s and sorta remember something like that.

arl
arl on December 9, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Alknobloch, you are correct, the theater did have a marquee that came out to the curb. I never
actually saw the theater, but have a picture from the mid 50s, when it was a church, and the
marquee was still in place.

GabrielPier
GabrielPier on April 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Dennis Unks, president of Organ Supply Industries in Erie PA, had the Rialto organ and gave it to a man I worked with in the console department around year 2000. I did see the console in the garage of this fella’s house during a visit there, but’s long since moved to Las Vegas, so who knows what’s happened to the organ.

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