Rialto Theater

118 Walnut Street,
Lockport, NY 14094

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In 1918 Henry Thurston erected an “Air Drome” theater on the southeast corner of Pine and Walnut Streets. In 1922, with the help of the Schine Company, Henry remodeled the “Air Drome” into the Rialto Theater. The Rialto Theater seated 1,400 people and featured cowboy movies and a serial every Saturday. They still had live entertainment plus an organ to entertain people before the show started.

In 1924, Henry decided to retire from the theater business and turned the operation over to his son Ray. In the late-1930’s the Rialto Theater was sold to the Schine Company. The Rialto Theater closed its doors in 1957. The building was eventually demolished and a bank was built on its site.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 7, 2005 at 1:11 am

There is a photo of the Rialto Theater here:

(Scroll down to the bottom of the page)

kencmcintyre on October 20, 2007 at 1:24 am

LM, do you want to add the Temple Theater, which is seen above the Rialto photo? I don’t see it listed yet. Interesting history as it used to be a skating rink.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 20, 2007 at 1:30 am

You can add the Temple Theater if you want. I already added theaters today so I met my quota. :)

kencmcintyre on October 20, 2007 at 2:39 am

I’m headed to Vegas. It can wait.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 20, 2007 at 4:13 am

I agree. Good Luck!

LouB on April 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm

link This link shows a picture of the Rialto.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on June 13, 2013 at 6:04 pm

An odd distinction for this theatre: in 1925 this theatre purchased a Wurlitzer pipe organ, opus 1118, a style F-special, 3 manuals and 10 ranks. A customized organ, but nothing too usual.

The sad twist on this is that in 1943 this organ went back to the Wurlitzer factory in North Tonawanda NY where it was rebuilt for radio station WGR/WKBW Buffalo NY and in its rebuilt state, was the last pipe organ to leave Wurlitzer. Shortly afterwards all the remaining pipe organ stock, parts and tools were burned or melted down for scrap metal.

The Wurlitzer company, in a little over 22 years had turned out +/– 2,200 organs. Justly or not, Wurlitzer remains, in the mind of the general public, the most famous pipe organ builder.

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