108 South Avenue,
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The Rialto Theater was designed by African-American architect Charles T. Russell. It was built in 1923, and operated as a movie theatre for African-American’s during the 1920’s.
Over the years, the Rialto Theater held a number of famous acts, and all of the greatest black performers played there including James Brown, Sam Cooke, Jerry Butler, Chubby Checker, The Shirelles, The Mills Brothers and many others. Hollywood celebrities such as John Wayne and Joseph Cotton were also visitors to the Rialto Theater.
"The Triangle" or "Avenue" was the center of African-American culture in the city.
We are hoping someone will come along and decide to save this theatre which was used at some point as a barbers shop and living area. It is now boarded up with vines growing on it. Sadly, the building was declared unsafe and was quickly demolished January 9, 2015.
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