Rialto Theater

2418 Santa Clara Avenue,
Alameda, CA 94501

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Rialto Theater

This theater, known for its front arched window, opened as the Alameda Theater (not to be confused with the current Alameda Theatre on Central Avenue, which was built nearly two decades later) in 1913. It became the Rialto Theater in 1921, then closed in 1923. But the story does not quite end there…

Heavily renovated and converted into a bowling alley, it operated in that capacity until the mid-1970’s, when Alameda Federal Bank transformed the building yet again, reopening the front arch (which had been covered over for years) and restoring it. The Rialto Theater building continues on as a bank today.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

gsmurph
gsmurph on September 22, 2004 at 5:12 am

Albert W. Cornelius designed the Rialto (originally the [original] Alameda).

gsmurph
gsmurph on June 25, 2005 at 6:30 am

Correction—-this was actually the “second” Alameda.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 10, 2011 at 12:40 am

Here is a small photo of the Alameda Theatre from the July 12, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture world. The caption says that the Alameda was a Turner & Dahnken house.

BETTEPAGE
BETTEPAGE on July 19, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Here’s a more recent photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/67739976@N00/19220542334/in/dateposted-public/

chronicler
chronicler on December 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm

An article in the Oakland Tribune of 21 July 1912, page 28, displayed a sketch of the theater’s façade and provided this info about the architect:

“The architect, George E. King of Berkeley, who recently came from New York, where he designed and built several theaters, is a specialist in theater building.”

chronicler
chronicler on December 14, 2017 at 2:01 pm

I checked George King in Berkeley building permits and city directories. He was actually George F. King and designed quite a number of buildings—both residential and commercial—in Berkeley.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 14, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Thanks for the correction on the architect, chronicler. I was able to find that King also designed the Strand Theatre in Alameda.

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