Rialto Theatre

6345-6347 Gratiot Avenue,
Detroit, MI 48207

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This C. Howard Crane-designed theatre opened in 1917, and featured an early form of stadium-style seating, with a steeply sloping auditorium floor. Therefore, there was no need for a balcony and it could seat around 1,350. The Rialto Theatre’s exterior was very similar to his Capitol Theatre (now the Detroit Opera House), which was built in 1922. A new marquee was installed in 1941.

The Rialto Theatre closed in 1968, and has since been demolished.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

acmorrison on June 20, 2006 at 12:32 pm

The Rialto’s address was 6345-6347 Gratiot Avenue.

Craig Morrison

dmp717 on August 3, 2009 at 12:09 pm

The organ that was played by Mary Belle Shelby was given to her when the theatre closed. It is a Thompson Organ, cherrywood and beautifully carved. My brother used to cut grass for Mrs. Shelby and before she moved to Arizona, she bestowed him the organ. The organ sits in my mother’s foyer and is beautiful condition, but in need of repair of the ballows.

BJ71 on October 6, 2015 at 4:13 am

My grandfather James C. Ritter built the Rialto and ran it until the 1940’s when my Uncle Delno Ritter took over management.

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