Phoenix Theatre

415 Bank Street,
Ottawa, ON K2P

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Phoenix Theatre

Listed as the Rialto Theatre in 1941, with a seating capacity of 524. It later became an art house that existed in the 1980’s.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

robinco on June 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm

My one vague memory of the Rat Hole was one Saturday morning in the 1960s, watching a sequence of Three Stooges movies, knee deep in garbage, and some kid in front of us turning around and spitting at us. We probably took him outside and gave him a lesson he’d never forgot, but that might be a dream sequence…

But this theatre should be down as the Rialto, not the Phoenix. Nobody of any merit should remember the Phoenix.

touraine32 on December 25, 2009 at 2:14 pm

My most vivid memory of the Rialto is buying a 25 cent hot dog, taking a bite and pulling a filthy piece of string out of my mouth.

There seems to be some disagreement as to whether the building is now standing. It is not. It was demolished.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on December 25, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Looks like the space between Staples and the Book Bazaar is where the old theater was. Why is addressed as 403 Bank St when in the ACI picture above (4/5/2009) has an address of 415 and a street sign to the right of the building? At 403, the street sign would have been on the left side of the building as you face it.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on December 25, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Also the 1967 ad that LM posted says corner of Bank and Gladstone. That’s a good 1 to 2 blocks away.

If you go to that intersection, you see this…

View link

Sign on the building says Coming Soon to this Site, so it looks like the building is slated for demolishing? Any idea if this was a theater. Has the look of one.

Finnegan9 on June 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

There seems to be some confusion. The Rialto (or “Rathole”, as we kids called it) was located near the corner of Lebreton and Somerset Streets…I know; I used to live on Raymond and Lebreton streets, which is now under the Queensway. The Rialto had a balcony where us kids could carryon and clap when Wild Bill Elliott, Gener Autry and Roy Rogers chased the crooks every Saturday matinee. The serials gave us something to look forward to at an affordable price. I don’t recall much about the Phoenix; I think it was more expensive, but down the street was the Imperial Theatre, which was nice, but I believe it only had the one floor, no balcony. 4Wheatens

robinco on June 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Well it is possible the Rialto was at a different location at one point but it was definitely on Bank Street when I was a kid.

PeterinCrete on September 5, 2011 at 9:54 am

Hi, Finnegan9 –

Surely that was the Rex on Somerset & Lebreton – ? We lived further west (Elmdale)when I was a kid, but I remember going to the Rex a few times for golden oldies like MGM B-musicals on the bottom half of double bills.

The Rialto I remember well from when we lived nearby and then later, when I was at Carleton (old campus on First Avenue) – great triple bills and yes, it was sort of crummy, but the price was right.

robinco on October 26, 2011 at 9:03 pm

There’s a pretty good website about old Ottawa which has a photo of the Rialto (which became the Phoenix, which closed). It was at Bank and Waverly:

and this is what it looks like today, a vacant lot:

robinco on October 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm

(incidentally, the James St. Feed Company is on the opposite side of the street, so you need to rotate that google image if you see the pub/restaurant)

Hugger1 on March 11, 2013 at 8:43 am

Address was 415 Bank St.

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