Rialto Theater

320 W. Main Street,
Kenedy, TX 78119

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sepiatone on April 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm

In this link, photos 16 and 17 show the interior work being done on the Rialto.


sepiatone on April 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm

The Rialto is being saved, but not as a theater. According to a San Antonio Express News article, the building is being remodeled into offices and living areas. Houston developer Walter Chance purchased the building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 26, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Here’s another mention of a theater in Kenedy from the trades, this time from the July 1, 1927, issue of Film Daily:

“Hall Industries Open Another

“Kennedy, Tex. — Hall Industries, operating a chain in this section, has opened the Kentex, its second local house.”

I’ve been unable to discover if the Kentex Theatre was the house that later became the Rialto, or if the Rialto was the other theater Hall was already operating in Kenedy in 1927, or if it was a third theater.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 4, 2010 at 1:02 am

Hopefuly someone can save this.I love the Marquee.

savetherialto on June 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Non-profit is probably not going to happen anymore. We are starting to gut the lobby to prepare it to be roofed. It wont be roofed soon, but its a start.

savetherialto on March 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm

We have started the cleanup process of the rialto. Soon we will gutting the lobby area to prepare to roof the front section. If you care to donate to our roof fund please vist us at www.savetherialto.com We will soon be applying for a non profit status and you will be able to get a tax deduction. thanks for the support and for daily updates visit our facebook page Save the Rialto of Kenedy tx.

savetherialto on March 13, 2010 at 12:50 am

Hey All, I am the new owner of the Rialto Theater in Kenedy Texas. Please view my website here that shows how I am raising money and interest in getting the Rialto back up and Running. www.savetherialto.com and our facebook page which is updated daily.
View link

Plus I am selling the old arc projectors if anyone is interested.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 28, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Puzzling information datelined Kenedy from Boxoffice, June 5, 1937:

“Remodeling of the old Rialto Theatre was completed this week by Hall Industries and the opening set for June 10, it was announced by Boyd Atkinson, local Hall manager. The house name, however, will be changed to ‘The Rex.’ New upholstered chairs and projection equipment are to be installed.”
The Rex is mentioned again in the April 5, 1941, issue of Boxoffice, which says:
“BOXOFFICE has been informed that the building formerly occupied by the Rialto, Kenedy, is being remodeled to serve as a cafe, according to its owner, August Loos of that city. The only other theatre in Kenedy is the Rex.”
But by 1958, Boxoffice is once again publishing items about the Rialto Theatre, and I find no mentions of the Rex after 1941. Possibly the Rex resumed its former name. But the Rialto was probably the nameless theater mentioned in a May 2, 1936, Boxoffice article about Henry Hall, which said:
“In Kenedy, a small town of about 2,500 population, he built a magnificent 1000-seat theatre, a credit to a key city.”
Motion Picture Times of March 11, 1930, listed the Rialto as one of the Texas theaters which had recently installed RCA sound equipment. As near as I can figure from these various items, there have been two Rialto Theatres in Kenedy, but the lack of follow-up items to so many Boxoffice articles about the town leaves their history somewhat ambiguous.

I’ve also found these bits about other theaters in Kenedy: The April 20, 1940, issue of Boxoffice said: “Jack Farr has just opened the new Bear in Kenedy, Texas.” That’s the only mention of the Bear I’ve found.

Motion Picture Times of May 13, 1930 said: “B.F. Mumm, who lost the Grand at Kenedy by fire, starts this week to rebuild the theatre….” The fire had taken place in March, according to an earlier issue of the magazine. A 1948 “From the Boxoffice Files” feature cited a 1928 item saying that B.F. Mumm had purchased the Grand Theatre in Kenedy. Aside from that retrospective item, I’ve found no mention of the Grand after 1930.

There were also two mentions of what was probably a Spanish language theater in Kenedy. The December 1, 1945, issue of Boxoffice mentions Juan Monsivais of the Carpa Theatre in Kenedy, and the October 3, 1953, issue mentions Juan Monsivais of the Monsivias Theatre in Kenedy.

monika on June 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm

SiliconSam, do you have a link to provide for your architecture pictures? I’m very interested in seeing them.

Good luck, Rialto Theater. Hopefully things work out in the best interest of the location.

radicastuff on June 29, 2009 at 3:25 am

It is listed on bid4assets. you can see pics there.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on June 26, 2009 at 11:10 am

Last time I drove by, I did not see much other than a new boarded up front. Did look like a new roof from peeking through the front. Last picture I have is from March 2009

Went through a month ago, but was busy taking pictures of a few other abandoned buildings, namely the old high school. Interesting old town…

jodrum on June 26, 2009 at 10:42 am

any updated pics of it?

jodrum on June 26, 2009 at 10:42 am

hmmm…what kind of improvements, if any, have been made to it?

radicastuff on June 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm

$10,000 is what we have invested.

radicastuff on June 22, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Times are tough and finances tight. We are going to try to sell.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on January 25, 2009 at 8:54 am

Click on my name below, and get my e-mail address, yours does not show up.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on January 25, 2009 at 8:52 am

Will get some together. Don’t have a great variety though. If I had gone inside I’d have lots more!

Here’s something you never want to see inside an indoor theatre. Sunshine!

View link

PurplePenguin on January 25, 2009 at 6:42 am

If you have any more pictures we would love to get copies from you.

We plan on doing some kind of a “before and After” page and the more pictures we have the better.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on January 25, 2009 at 6:23 am

Here’s some pics I took May of 2005.

Front of building:
View link

Peeking over front door:
View link

Poking my camera through broken back door. I never wandered inside…
View link

theblustar on December 5, 2006 at 1:38 pm

I just moved (In Oct.) to Kenedy to help care for my mother-in-law. Being a former theater manager I was happy to see that something was going to be done with this old shell. I must say that this is by far no ghost town with a population over 3,000 it is more like a suburb than a town. The person that works in personal in the towns Wal-Mart informed us that a Supercenter is slated for August. There is enough going on here to support a Dairy Queen, Churches, Pizza Hut, and a Sonic all within 300 yards of each other. This small town has 5 gas stations. Next door to the theater is a Movie Gallery (movie rental) that only rents DVD. with all this I see the town supporting a movie theater very easily. The only other theater is The Rio 6 in Beeville about an hour away. If current owners see there way of matching the cost of the Rio experience. Then this theater could do very well. While registering with this site so I could post I could post I checked www.oldrialto.com The theater was robbed of its tools. The set back is terrible and not supporting to the new owners. I hope that the owners can still see it threw.

longislandmovies on October 9, 2006 at 11:35 am


longislandmovies on September 6, 2006 at 6:39 pm

good job………..thats one big project