Rialto Theatre

336 S. State Street,
Chicago, IL 60604

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Rialto Theatre

The Rialto Theatre opened in 1917 as a venue for vaudeville and motion pictures, near the corner of S. State Street and W. Van Buren Street.

The theatre was designed by the architectural duo of Marshall & Fox, who also designed the earlier legitimate Blackstone Theatre (now the Merle Reskin), the Blackstone Hotel and, later, Chicago’s famed Drake Hotel.

This mid-sized venue was located directly across the street from the Neo-Classical style department store building that began its life as Rothschild’s, then the Davis Store, then Goldblatt’s and is today the Loop campus of DePaul University. By 1930 it was Minsky’s Rialto Theatre presenting burlesque.

From November 7, 1931 it was renamed Loop End Theatre presenting vaudeville & movies. From September 1, 1944 in was the Downtown Theatre, it later reverted back to the Rialto Theatre name and closed December 31, 1953.

It was demolished in January 1954. It was replaced by a handful of small one-story retail stores (“taxpayers”), which in turn were also torn down in the late-1980’s/early-1990’s, replaced by Pritzker Park, which is on the site today.

Not to be confused with the other Rialto Theatre located a couple of blocks away at 546 S. State Street (also a burlesque house and adult movie theatre) which has its own page on Cinema Treasures.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 31 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Several of the comments on this theater’s page actually pertain to the later Rialto Theatre at 546 S. State Street, which took the name sometime after this house closed.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on March 27, 2014 at 10:11 am

Just added a circa 1953 Chuckman photo and a 1945 print ad.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm

@ Broan:

I’m not sure how Yale is/was financed. But they might have simply been investing their endowment in things that seemed sensible at the time.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on December 12, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Added a 1924 photo courtesy of Darla Zailskas.

Broan
Broan on January 17, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Here and Here are THSA photos.

rivest266
rivest266 on November 12, 2016 at 9:51 am

This reopened as Downtown on September 1st, 1944. Its grand opening ad can be found in the photo section. Reverted to the Rialto by the end of 1945.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 12, 2020 at 11:07 am

This reopened as the Loop-End theatre by Jones, Linick and Schafer on November 7th, 1931 as a vaudeville and screen theatre. Grand opening ad posted.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on August 12, 2020 at 12:27 pm

rivest266, the last ad posted was in July. Is it possible your 11/7/31 grand opening ad did not download?

rivest266
rivest266 on August 15, 2020 at 4:32 pm

Loop-End ad now posted, Dave. Reopened as Rialto again on September 19th, 1941 or before, since the ad did not say “Grand Opening” etc.

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