Rialto Casino Cinema

79 Moseley Avenue,
Coundon,
Coventry, CV6 1HR

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Located in the Coundon district of Coventry, on the corner of Moseley Avenue and Barker Butts Lane. The Rialto Theatre was opened in 1928 and was part of the Orr circuit. Designed by Coventry based architectural firm T.R.J. Meakin & Son, it had 1,031 seats, with 756 in the stalls and 275 in the circle. In 1929 it was equipped with a British Thomson Houston(BTH) sound system, which was replaced by a Western Electric(WE) sound system in 1930.

In 1936 the Rialto Theatre was modernised with the seating capacity increased to 1,261, with 911 in the stalls and 350 in the circle. Also in 1936 the Rialto Casino Ballroom was built adjacent to the right hand side of the cinema which was re-named Rialto Casino Cinema. In March 1939 it was taken over by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. (the Rialto Casino Ballroom remained under the Orr circuit management).

The Rialto Casino Cinema was destroyed by German bombs on 15th November 1940. The site became a car park in later years, and the fa├žade was demolished around 1958. Today a new building on the site contains a solicitors office.

The Rialto Casino Ballroom survived the bombing and continued to operate until the 1960’s when it became a bingo club. In 1980 it became a Granada Bingo Club, and in recent years has operated as an independent bingo club which closed around 2009. In 2014 it operates as a nightclub.

Between 2006 and 2008, a twin screen Rialto Cinemas operated in two former shop units under the bingo club, and this has its own page on Cinema Treasures.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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