4 Rue de Rivoli,
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Cinema Rialto (Official)
Architects: Vladimir Scob
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Gaumont Rialto, Cinerama Rialto, UGC Rialto
Originally opened as the Rialto Cinema on 11th March 1927 with 1,100-seats, all on a single sloping floor. There were eight alcoves along both sides of the auditorium side walls which had different painted scenes in each one. The opening film was the French film “Yasmina”. It was equipped with an organ. On 22nd November 1929 it screened Al Jolson in “The Jazz Singer” and was the first cinema in Nice to be equipped for ‘talking pictures’. By 1939 it had been taken over by Gaumont and it was remodeled.
In June 1957 it was closed for renovations to the plans of Parisian architect V. Scob and the installation of CinemaScope and a Todd A-O screen and equipment was installed. The seating capacity was reduced to 747 plush armchair seats. It reopened on 28th March 1958 with Robert Wagner & Joan Collins in “Espionage in Tokyo”. The first Todd-AO presentation was Deborah Kerr in “South Pacific” on 18th February 1960. In 1962 the theatre was closed, gutted and a beautiful Cinerama theatre was built, opening on 14th September 1963 with a further reduction in the seating capacity to 630-seats. “Cinerama Holiday” was the initial Cinerama film screened. Most of the three strip Cinerama features were shown, including “How the West Was Won”. In 1964 the projection equipment was replaced and two Phillips DP 70 were installed. Single lens Cinerama and Super Panavision pictures were shown, the first one was “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” on 17th January 1964. The theatre had a giant curved louvered screen of about 22 by 11 metres covered by a beautiful set of golden travellers.
Unfortunately in 1978 it succumbed to the mutiplex disease and was transformed into a five screen multiplex. Seating capacities in the screens are: 249, 199, 99, 99 and 65-seats. Although it still shows first run films as of today and it is impeccably maintained, it lacks the great looks of its past.
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