Rialto Theatre

114-116 East Robberts Avenue,
Kingfisher, OK 73750

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Opera House, Electric Theatre, Grand Opera House, Grand Theatre

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The Opera House was opened on June 11, 1900 with the play “A Home Affair”. The Electric Theatre which had operated at 204 N. Main Street (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures), moved into the Opera House on May 6 1908. It was closed on February 10, 1923.

In 1924 it was remodeled as the Grand Theatre and it was renamed Rialto Theatre on September 5, 1927 reopening with Conway Tearle in “Moulders of Men”. It closed by 1931 as a silent movie theatre.

Contributed by Royce

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm

The 1899-1900 issue of Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide lists an Opera House at Kingfisher. The seating capacity was 500, the proscenium was 30 feet wide and 18 feet high, the distance from footlights to the back wall was 18 feet, and the distance between side walls was 30 feet.

The 1904-1905 edition of the guide describes a somewhat different theater called the Grand Opera House. It seated 600, and had a proscenium only 24 feet wide and 16 feet high, but the distance from footlights to back wall was 32 feet and the distance between side walls was 50 feet.

I don’t know if the Opera House of 1900 and the Grand Opera House of 1904 were entirely different theaters, or if the original theater had been expanded and altered. Both were listed as second floor houses.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 1, 2011 at 8:19 am

The building at the above address was built in 1900.

More info and photos are always welcome.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 2, 2011 at 6:39 am

Bob, it was the Grand Opera House on Main Street that opened in 1900. It replaced the old Opera House on Roberts Street that had burned down in August that year, according to the historic plaque on this page (lower right.)

Because the original Opera House burned in 1900, it must never have operated as a regular movie theater, though it probably hosted one or two of the movie exhibitors who travelled the country during the period from 1896 into the early 20th century. For that reason it probably shouldn’t be listed at Cinema Treasures. The Grand Opera House, however, did later become a movie house, and is listed here under its later name the Electric Theatre.

raybradley on March 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Found on google maps is this recent street view of the old Grand Opera House (AKA-Electric),
View link

missmelbatoast on April 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm

roadsideoklahoma has recent pictures of the old Opera House

dallasmovietheaters on August 15, 2021 at 2:19 am

The Grand Opera House launched June 11, 1900 with the live play, “A Home Affair.” In another location, the Electric Theatre made its debut with short one-reel films on August 23, 1906. The Electric Theatre then moved to the Grand Opera House with a launch on May 6, 1908. The theatre appears to have fulfilled a 15-year leasing closing February 10, 1923.

In 1924, the venue was remodeled and became the Grand Theatre for three years. It was purchased and renamed the Rialto Theatre on September 5, 1927 with Conway Tearle in “Moulders of Men.” It appears to have operated with silent films and some live content as the Rialto to the end of 1931 with Homer C. Jones of the Temple in charge. The name of Temple-Rialto appears for a brief period indicating a potential merging of both operations in the Temple location - although that’s not certain. However, it does not appear that the Rialto / Grand Opera House was ever converted to sound films likely ending its viability and its operation.

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