1000 Kenmore Boulevard,
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Rialto Theatre (Official)
Functions: Live Music Venue
The Rialto Theatre was opened in 1919. It was a very small neighborhood theatre owned by Mr. and Mrs. Rakoci, and was located in the central Kenmore district, Akron, Ohio. The house sported a very impressive marquee that was visible for many blocks.
I worked in the concession stand (lobby) during grade/high school days (1949-50) for $8.00 a week! The “air conditioning” was an old style ammonia system that had to be “pumped up” to make it cooler.
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Recent comments (view all 8 comments)
There is some sort of confusion here.I attended the Rialto as a child and it was located in East Akron just off Market Street across from the Goodyear Auditorium. It was a larger neiborhood theater which closed in the early 50s and has been used as the URW union hall for the past 50 years.
richhd5: It’s not unusual for a good-sized city to have two theatres bearing the same name. This is probably a different Rialto than the one you attended on the other side of town, which apparently is not yet listed at Cinema Treasures.
You could add it to the database yourself. Just click the “Add Theatres” link at the top of this page and fill out the information on the web form. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the details of the theatre. Many theatres are posted here with only scant information, and other people then add what they know about it in comments.
You are not the only person who remembers the Rialto at Goodyear and Market. It is one of the theatres mentioned in the 1972 memoirs of Charles Hermann, a long-time Akron projectionist.
Yes, there were two Rialto Theatres, one in East Akron, the other in Kenmore (then considered separate from Akron). I remember appearing in a Minstrel show at the Goodyear Theatre and seeing the Rialto nearby as you remember. The Kenmore Rialto was quite small and competed with the Boulevard Theatre up the street. Does anyone know if Charles Hermann is still living and how to reach him? He was a friend of Akron Beacon Journal reporter Kenny Nichols. Nichols did a thesis on the theatres of Akron that is now in the main library collection in Akron.
R.W.: According to his memoirs on the web page linked above, Charles Hermann began working in 1911, so it seems unlikely that he’d still be living. Perhaps his granddaughter, Penny Allen Nelson, is still maintaining that web site (the most recent date mentioned on her own web page is 2004.) If her e-mail address posted at the bottom of that page is still working, you could try contacting her to ask if she has any further information about her grandfather’s career in Akron’s theatres.
Dear Joe V: Thank you, thank you, thank you! Charlie has passed, but what an experience!!! We did work together at the Colonial Theatre in Akron! We may be related! His granddaugher lives in Spokane, WA where my wife was born and raised! Charlie and I had a common friend (now deceased) Kenny Nichols of the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper. I have been totally overwhelmed! I’ve Emailed Mrs Nelson with the information and await an answer. You have been a godsend! You may Email me at direct if you like. I have so many questions for you. My very best regards, Robert.
The Rialto building was built in 1913 and the theater operated from 1919 to 1952. The building is still standing, housing Litho Arts Printing Service and some apartments.
Does anyone have any pictures of the Goodyear Minstrel shows? My father and grandfather were performers.
The Rialto is very much OPEN!!! It recently was brought back to life as a music and arts venue. http://www.therialtotheatre.com/