Rialto Theatre

1600 Fifth Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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The theater opened in 1914 as the Cameraphone (one of at least three by that name in Pittsburgh at one time or another) in the city’s Uptown section. It may have had 450 seats at that time. When it became the Rialto, it seems to have had just 400 seats.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the same structure was being used as a retail store called Barney’s. By 1983, it was an empty storeroom.

The 2008 owner is listed on the county real estate site as the Stough Family LLC of Cincinnati.

Contributed by Ed Blank

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 24, 2008 at 9:01 pm

There is a rather large building at that address now. The business is a plasma donation center:
http://tinyurl.com/7dfplf

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 7, 2011 at 5:48 am

The November 8, 1913, issue of trade journal The Moving Picture World had this item: “The Cameraphone Co., of Pittsburgh, H. Beatty, General Mgr., has added two more houses to their string. Cameraphone, at Sharpsburgh, seating capacity 530; Cameraphone, 1600 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, seating capacity 500, all doing good business.”

Five theaters were opened under the name Cameraphone by T.M. Barnesdale in 1908. These included the Cameraphone in East Liberty and the Cameraphone “…on lower Fifth avenue….” in Downtown Pittsburgh (I think this latter must have been the house at 347 Fifth Avenue that later became the Cameo Theatre.) A third Cameraphone was on Carson Street on the south side, according to this article in the July 15, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World.

The East Liberty Cameraphone was taken over by a partnership of H.B. Kester and W.C. Beatty not long after it opened. The H. Beatty who was general manager of the Cameraphone Company in 1913 was most likely a relative of W.C. Beatty. Kester was apparently out of the partnership by 1913, though he still operated the East Liberty Cameraphone. The Cameraphone Company that operated this house was established in 1913, and its president was James B. Clark.

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