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Rialto Theatre

2001 Photo from the Bob Meza collection
812 S Broadway
Downtown Los Angeles (Los Angeles) CA 90014

Record #12319  
 Opened: 1917
 Closed: 1988
 Current Use: Retail
Capacity: 840 seats
Architect(s): Oliver P Dennis
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Quinns Rialto
 Previously operated by: Metropolitan Theatres

The original design of the Rialto by Oliver P. Dennis in 1917 was in the Colonial style. In 1919, Sid Grauman assumed operation of the theater, and in 1923 hired William L. Woollett to redesign the interior. The exterior received a radical remodel at this time, removing all traces of the original facade in favor of a more restrained Beaux Arts style. This renovation also placed Neo-classical ornamentation at the roofline, but a later remodel removed this.

The neon marquee, added in the 1930s, is one of Broadway's longest and most spectacular.

The theater was fitted for Cinemascope in 1954. It was gutted in the 1970s for seismic problems and converted to retail use in the 1980s. Virtually no historic interior elements remain, and the marquee is the only part of the building considered to be a Los Angeles Historic Monument.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

2003 photos from the Adam Martin collection.

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Last featured 8/19/2003. Last edited 7/31/2009.

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