336 S. State Street,
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Opened in 1917 as a venue for vaudeville and motion pictures, near the corner of S. State Street and W. Van Buren Street, the Rialto Theatre could seat over 1,500.
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. The Rialto Theatre was a burlesque theatre in the 1930’s.
Later called the Loop End Theatre and from September 1, 1944 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.
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