Rialto Theatre

470 Pine Street,
Williamsport, PA 17701

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Rialto Theatre

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The Rialto Theatre was built in 1929, closed in 1980, and re-opened as The Door Fellowship in 1984. Although somewhat modified in its transition from movie theatre to house of worship, the former Rialto’s auditorium is very much intact. The original seating has been refurbished, the balcony left intact and the domed ceiling restored. The neoclassical style certainly isn’t palatial but its understated elegance is most impressive. The theatre originally had an organ but it was severely damaged in a flood which preceeded The Door Fellowship’s purchase.

Contributed by Richard Grows

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

richardg
richardg on August 8, 2004 at 8:15 pm

I tried for about 10 years to see the inside of the Rialto but my passings through Williamsport never coincided with the building being open. I finally got inside in April 2004, my first thought was “I wish I owned it”. The was probably the “number 2” theatre in Williamsport second only to the much larger and more palatial Community Arts Center

Sylvia
Sylvia on November 2, 2004 at 6:38 am

I attend the Door fellowship and am so glad it’s being appreciated! It amazing, all the hard work that the congregation and pastors did to restore the rialto. I have only been in attendance since 1999, however everyone is so nice thay made me feel at home… I can see how working on a project that great would bring people together! From the pictures I saw of the restoration process and the stories to go along with them… it’s amazing the persistance! They dug out a functional basement, starting with a dirt bucket brigade, and now have a number of classrooms, a fellowship hall, and a small kitchen. Remember this is all done by only a few handfull of people. The church number was very small but is now well over 300 in attendance. The church is open usually from 10-4 week days and service starts at 10 on Sunday with a kicking P&W band including electric guitars,conga drums, keyboard, organ, ect. To hear the acoustics they recorded a CD in house of popular P&W (contemporary), any one interested can call the church ($10). Ugh! this is starting to sound like a comercial-sorry, I’m just so excited to share how a group of people with common goals came together and acomplished much!– once a heap of a mess, now a mighty place of worship.-syl.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm

The May 28, 1924, issue of The Film Daily had this item datelined Williamsport, PA: “The Rialto, which was recently destroyed by fire has been rebuilt and re-opened.”

The building does look like it could be older than the 1929 date currently given for the opening. I’d say the facade might even predate the 1924 fire.

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