Rialto Theatre

1481 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 1 - 25 of 155 comments

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 17, 2012 at 11:14 am

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

Tinseltoes on June 18, 2012 at 7:56 am

In this 1936 photo, crowds gather outside for a Republic chiller, one of the first hits at the new Rialto Theatre: boxofficemagazine

rivoli157 on November 18, 2011 at 7:31 am

I believe this theatre had legit fare in the late 70s ,early 80s. “Musical Chairs”,“Marlowe” and a revival of the musical version of “Canterbury Tales”

AlAlvarez on July 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Times Square porn theatres circa summer 1970.


Tinseltoes on April 6, 2011 at 10:35 am

Here’s a link to a photo of the 42nd Street marquee of Rialto II, with billing as “New York’s Newest Movie Theatre”: View link

KingBiscuits on March 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm

The Cineplex Odeon run lasted from 6/12/1987 (opening with Predator) to 7/5/1990 (closing with The Hunt for Red October).

Tinseltoes on January 18, 2011 at 10:22 am

Awaiting demolition, with marquee messages “Any Surplus Is Immoral” and “A Man Can’t Know What It’s Like To Be A Mother”: View link

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 26, 2010 at 8:26 am

Can you post the ad that you got that info from, Tinseltoes?

Tinseltoes on December 26, 2010 at 7:16 am

Today (12/26) marks the 75th anniversary of the grand opening of the New Rialto Theatre, which would specialize in “Pictures chosen to give you the ultimate in thrill entertainment.” The premiere attraction was legendary animal trapper Frank Buck in “Fang and Claw”, a B&W feature documentary produced by the Van Buren Corporation for RKO Radio release. Doors opened daily at 9am, with last complete show at midnight.

AlAlvarez on October 19, 2010 at 5:33 am

Woody, I think that photo may have been just after the opening as the Warner. By the time it closed the 42nd Street marquee was long gone.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 16, 2010 at 10:13 am

Sinatra and Abbott & Costello on the same bill. Now that’s entertainment, folks.

Tinseltoes on July 16, 2010 at 9:19 am

Here’s a 1955 view of Times Square, with the Rialto marquee at left. One block north is the Paramount Theatre, with Cary Grant & Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchock’s “To Catch A Thief” on the marquee: http://www.nfo.net/usa/bwayupto.jpg

Tinseltoes on May 15, 2010 at 8:13 am

Here’s an amusing comment about the Rialto from film critic Manny Farber in June, 1943: “Who builds movie theatres? If you seek the men’s room you vanish practically away from this world, always in a downward direction. It is conceivable that the men’s room is on its way out. At the theatre called the Rialto in New York the men’s room is somehow so far down that it connnects with the subway: I heard a little boy, who came dashing up to his father, say, ‘Daddy, I saw the subway!’ The father went down to see for himself. Another place that lets patrons slip through its fingers is the theatre in Greenwich Village where the men’s room is outside altogether.” One can only wonder which GV cinema that was. The Waverly perhaps?

AlAlvarez on March 14, 2010 at 9:59 am

From the post above, the Dead End Kids fit the policy:

42nd Street Memories * Jerry Kovar on Aug 15, 2006 at 5:52am

  • Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

“The Rialto opened for Christmas of 1935 with Frank Buck’s ‘'Fang and Claw.’‘ The theater’s manager, Arthur Mayer, saw the Rialto as distinctly masculine in tone. Most theaters, he said in a newspaper interview after the opening, were ’‘rococo, luxurious palaces for the uxorious,’‘ both in styling and choice of films. His theater, both in styling and presentations, sought to satisfy the ’‘ancient and unquenchable male thirst for mystery, menace and manslaughter.’‘ He was soon called the ’‘merchant of menace.’”

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 14, 2010 at 9:52 am

Excerpt from the New York Times' review of a Dead End Kids picture “Call A Messenger”

“To say that "Call a Messenger” fits in with the policy of the Rialto, which is to improve on any time-tested formula for shock by the simple expedient of doubling the dose, is to say everything. It doubles the dose, and although this method, on a few unfortunate occasions, has been known to prove fatal, it ought rather to be good for a minute portion of amusement in the present case."

number71 on February 27, 2010 at 8:31 am

On the TV show “Fame”, in an episode called “Street Kid” (episode # 18 2/25/1982), you can see the marquee in the background while the character of Doris talks to some streetwalkers.

Tinseltoes on January 24, 2010 at 10:18 am

Here’s a 1954 view of 42nd Street posters for “Striporama,” which was currently being shown just around the corner on Broadway at the Rialto Theatre: View link

Tinseltoes on December 13, 2009 at 8:16 am

Here’s a 1958 view showing the Rialto with a double bill of MGM imports from Great Britain. A portion of the Paramount Theatre marquee can be seen in the lower right background, but without enough detail to identify the attraction: View link

Tinseltoes on December 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Here’s a 1936 view including stores that adjoined the second Rialto Theatre. “The Garden Murder Case” is displayed on the marquee: View link

William on September 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I would agree with mendoza’s post to. “Rambo: First Blood Part 2” was released 1985 and the second feature “Runaway” was from 1984.

korgsman on September 1, 2009 at 11:50 am

ken mc, given the show at the Lyric, this looks to be circa 1985 not 1979.

jflundy on July 1, 2009 at 10:54 am

Photo link, 23 November 1939, courtesy of Warren. This is a very interesting one:
View link