Rialto Theater

86 College Street,
New Haven, CT 06510

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The Rialto Theater was a silent era theater that was destroyed in a fire in November of 1921.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm

This is a 1921 photo of the Rialto after the fire.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Here is an article about the burning of the Rialto Theatre from The New York Times of November 28, 1921.

The Rialto Theatre occupied a Greek Revival building originally built as the College Street Congregational Church in the late 1840s. The building was bought by Yale University in 1898, and it served as the University’s school of music for about two decades before its conversion into a movie theater. The house seated about 500, and was full the night of the fire. The ultimate death toll from the fire was nine, with over a hundred injured.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 15, 2014 at 7:39 pm

The article I linked to in my previous comment says that the Hyperion Theatre was located “…around the corner from the Rialto, in Chapel Street, and the roofs of the theaters come close together.” That means the Rialto must have been in the 200 block of College Street, just south of Chapel Street. The article also notes that the Rialto was across the street from and north of the Shubert Theatre, which is still standing at 247 College Street.

This photo of the Rialto in ruins shows the side wall and stage house of the Hyperion Theatre behind it. When the Hyperion was rebuilt as Loew’s College Theatre, its entrance was moved from Chapel Street to College Street. The new entrance was most likely built on part of the site of the Rialto, so the Rialto’s address must have been very close to that of Loew’s College, which was at 262 College Street.

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