Rialto Theatre

100 W. Race Street,
Searcy, AR 73143

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Rialto Theatre

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The old Grand Theatre on West Race Street was razed in 1923 and rebuilt that year. Five years later, the name of the theater was changed to the Rialto Theatre. In 1939, the Rialto Theatre received a beautiful Streamline Moderne style facelift, complete with a new facade, neon-lit large marquee and elegant interior decor. The Rialto Theatre was again remodeled in 1949 by the Boller Brothers firm when it was part of the Commonwealth Amusements circuit.

This wonderfully maintained theatre is now owned by the city of Searcy and leased. It is one of only a small number of single-screen historic movie houses in the state that still operates daily and features weekend matinees.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 4, 2008 at 7:54 pm

Another recent photo of the Rialto can be seen here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 6, 2008 at 7:35 am

This was the Rialto in 2002.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm

The view on Google is interesting. Almost standing under the marquee when the photo was taken, as opposed to the usual drive-bys.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on March 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm

You may try zooming out or turning left or right, it’s clearly from a car. Narrow streets though, and not much of a sidewalk.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 27, 2009 at 7:26 pm

This is another 1984 photo.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm

This is another 2009 photo.

Zycrow
Zycrow on August 3, 2011 at 6:26 am

This is my hometown. When I moved there in 2004, the Rialto’s lights were mostly still working. Now, I think just one neon bar lights up at night. I interviewed the theater’s owner (Victor Weber) a couple years ago. He showed me that the building’s walls are several inches thick. He also still uses an antique ticket dispenser at the box office window. Weber used to own lots of other theaters in the county (most of them closed or gone by now).

His favorite movie is “Gone With the Wind.” :)

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