Rialto Theater

102 South Ocean Avenue,
Patchogue, NY 11772

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The Rialto Theater, once located on South Ocean Avenue, began it’s life as the New Unique Theater in April 1920, and was the second location for the Unique Theater. By 1925, it had been re-named Rialto Theater, when it was destroyed by a fire in December 1925. The Rialto Theater was soon rebuilt and was a very popular theater in it’s day for moviegoers. It became part of the Prudential Circuit chain.

Unfortunately, in the winter of 1978, the Rialto Theater caught fire and it took almost eight hours to fight the fire as the building was completely engulfed in flames. It burned to the ground, and the remains had to be razed afterwards.

Contributed by Chris

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 23, 2008 at 5:13 pm

LM: You, too, embedding images in violation of the comment policy? Shocking! ;–)

Well, at least it looks like they’ve updated the site’s code to prevent wide images from stretching the page horizontally. But even with big hunks of image files cut off, it would still be a pain for users on dial-up connections to wait for long pages full of images to load, if embedding were allowed.

Bway
Bway on September 25, 2008 at 9:16 am

They have recently built very nice condos on the site of this theater, and the adjoining lots.

hockeymomnc
hockeymomnc on November 15, 2008 at 8:52 am

Wow is right….I seen my 1st horror flick “Dracula” there, ben, Blacula, Even the famous……“Mark Of The Devil” where passe4d out vomit bags…. Needless to say I was only 10….But i was addicted to horror….The Exorcist nearly killed me….It was the most frightening movie I had ever seen….I slept with the light on for “6” months….I wasn’t supposed to be seeing a movie like that…I was after all Going To “St. Francis De Sales” Catholic school….Thanx for remembering something positive…..In this day and age It’s nice to talk about the way it used to be……
Lenore “Canaan Lake”

Bway
Bway on April 16, 2009 at 9:32 am

Just posting to renew the email notifications.

Leighton18
Leighton18 on June 10, 2010 at 1:18 am

I saw all of the “biker” flicks (Peter Fonda/Nancy Sinatra) there in the mid-60’s; also some oddities like “The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus”…it sure ran the gamut from A – Z! I remember the owner or manager turning off the movie one Saturday afternoon and telling the kids (us!)we’d have to go home if we didn’t shut up! I don’t remember what film it was. In the winter of ‘78 I was driving through Patchogue and it wasn’t there anymore; someone said it burned down. Made me feel sad. I believe “Sat. Night Fever” was screening there at the time.

robboehm
robboehm on December 13, 2013 at 6:54 am

Glynn always specialized in large theaters, such as the Southampton, which Newsday always listed as “Glynns” in the movie time table long past the time when he was associated with it. But he also did acquire what is now the Sag Harbor, which is an intimate space. Odd.

robboehm
robboehm on December 13, 2013 at 6:59 am

RidgewoodKen You had an interesting piece about Sunday performances at the Lyric in Rockville Centre in October, about which Ed Solero and I both commented, now deleted. Is it possible that you could restore it? If I see it there I’ll delete this. Had no other way of contacting you.

robboehm
robboehm on December 13, 2013 at 10:22 am

The head of the Catholic church in RVC had approached the Lyric theater manager about not having Sunday viewing.

robboehm
robboehm on May 18, 2014 at 10:01 am

The Rialto, and neighboring Patchogue, were acquired by Prudential in August, 1929. At that time Prudential also operated the Bay Shore, Regent (Bay Shore) and Babylon theaters. The Rialto was immediately closed for renovations and the installation of an RCA sound system.

robboehm
robboehm on May 29, 2014 at 11:40 am

Approximately a year after he opened the Patchogue Theatre in May, 1913 Mike Glynne acquired the Unique from Nathan Goldstein for a reported $65,000. The theatre was to be named the Rialto and would operate 6 days a week from May to October, Fridays and Saturdays the balance of the year.

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