Rialto Theatre

603 Broadway,
Hannibal, MO 63401

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Rialto Theatre

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One of four theatres built in Hannibal, the Rialto Theatre opened in 1937 just a block from the much larger and more elaborate Orpheum Theatre. The seating for the Rialto Theatre was just under 500. It closed in 1955 from the onslaught of the television era. The building is still standing, today in use as a billiard hall.

Contributed by Church Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 20, 2007 at 3:48 am

This history of Hannibal theaters puts the Rialto at 503 Broadway, but other sources show 603, so it’s probably a mistake on this site:
http://tinyurl.com/2cdm5f

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 13, 2010 at 3:26 pm

A survey of new theater construction in the St. Louis area published in Boxoffice of October 16, 1937, lists Eddie Rosecan’s Rialto at Hannibal as one of the projects underway. Two other theaters Rosecan operated in small towns in the area were also called Rialto.

The Rialto was expanded and its front rebuilt in 1946, according to Boxoffice of February 6 that year. The item said the capacity would be enlarged by 50 percent.

If this house was ever called the Tom Sawyer, it must have been after Rosecan sold it to Frisina in 1955, but I’ve been unable to find any evidence that it was renamed. Frisina’s Orpheum was renamed the Tom Sawyer following a 1949 remodeling, according to Boxoffice of July 30 that year.

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