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Downtown Mangum’s Rialto Theatre was a 450-seat venue that launched July 11, 1927 by Pat Duffy and S.H. Wallace showing silent movies. The Rialto Theatre had the distinction of being the first Mangum theatre to convert to sound using William Henry Bristol’s Bristolphone sound system. The first sound film was “Trail of ‘98” shown on February 14, 1929.
When Griffith Amusements (then Consolidated Theatres) revived the moribund Empress Theatre location in November of 1937 equipping it for sound, it challenged the Rialto Theatre and Temple Theatre. On May 1, 1938, Consolidated bought both the Temple Theatre and Rialto Theatre to have a local monopoly. It refreshed the Temple Theatre with a streamlined makeover and then closed the Rialto Theatre permanently. The Rialto Theatre closed May 14, 1938 with Fred Scott in “Moonlight on the Range.” It was later retrofitted for other retail purposes.
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