Rialto Theatre

329 Main Street,
Danville, VA 24541

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jthackworth2000 on December 18, 2012 at 11:56 am

The Rialto Theater started life as the BIJOU Theater in the early 1900’s ( pre 1910 ). When the Strand Theater ( 1915 ) closed after just 1 yr. of operation the BIJOU obtained the small orchestra from the Strand Theater. The Bijou was a popular theater with a middle-class working patronage. The Bijou was purchased by Paramount Pictures in 1928-1929 through H.F. Kincey who also owned two other theaters in town. The theater was renamed the Rialto. The Rialto was popular for the appearances of many a western movie star, as was the Virginia Theater up the street, and was known for a popular intermission game called “Lucky.” The Rialto was a segregated theater with blacks having an entrance through the basement to a hidden staircase that went to the balcony and whites utilizing the orchestra seating or main floor. The theater operated until the 1960’s.