Rialto Theatre

112 W. Main Street,
Medford, OR 97501

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Tri-State Theaters Inc. (OR)

Architects: Frank C. Clark

Functions: Retail

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Rialto Theatre

The Rialto Theatre was opened on August 30, 1917 with Mabel Julienne Scott in “The Barrier” & “A Zeppelin Attack on New "York”.

“The handsome and well-appointed new Rialto Theatre was formally opened last night to capacity audiences and with many turned away for lack of room.

Last night and today nothing but high praise was heard for the theatre, its splendid arrangement and appointments and its opening attraction. Especially were the audiences pleased with the ventilating system which provides continuous fresh air, and the comfortable and commodious seats.

Messrs. Percy and Moran, the owners and managers of the theatre, were the recipients of many warm congratulations.

A much-appreciated feature of both shows last night was the music by the symphonic orchestral organ, (a 2 manual Robert-Morton organ) which was played by a skilled professional.

Rex Beach’s “The Barrier”, the opening attraction, will be given today and Saturday with matinees at 2 p.m. and evening shows at 7 and 9 p.m.“ —Medford Mail Tribune, August 31, 1917, page 2.

The Rialto Theatre was remodeled in 1939 and was closed in 1952, with proposals to become a furniture store, but that never happened. It reopened following a remodel in July 1953, but that was short lived as it closed in Spring of 1954.

In 2022 the building closest to the corner of N. Fir Street houses Essential Home Decor store

Contributed by Jack

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

JackInPDX on August 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

The following site has some great info and photos of the old Rialto: http://id.mind.net/%7Etruwe/tina/rialto.html

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 5, 2011 at 12:31 am

Here is Jack’s link, for people who don’t like to copy and paste. The page indicates that the Rialto closed on January 3, 1953.

A survey of buildings designed by architect Frank C. Clark lists the Rialto Theatre as one of his works, though it gives the year of the project as 1919. I don’t know if they simply got the year wrong, or if it indicates that Clark designed some alterations to the theater in 1919. The 1982-83 survey lists the theater as gone, but doesn’t give the year of its demolition.

DonaldKirk on July 8, 2012 at 10:48 am

The storefront on the right was the entrance to the Rialto; and the left larger storefront, the Rialto was in the Rear Half. The theatre was gutted and became a furniture store for many years, but sit’s empty, with a for sale sign in it; and cardboard theatre information history just inside the windows. This past week (July 4, 2012) crews have been putting a new roof on the building. The right storefront does have a portal inside that states “Rialto Theatre”. Don Kirk – Medford

50sSNIPES on January 13, 2022 at 7:36 pm

The Rialto Theatre Opened Its Doors On August 30, 1917 With “The Barrier” And “A Zeppelin Attack In New York”.

On July 22, 1939, The Rialto Was Remodeled, Reopening With “The Gracie Allen Murder Case” And “The Man Who Dared”, No Extras.

It Was Closed In 1952 For At Least A Year After A Future Plan Involving A Weeks & Orr Furniture Store, Which Had Possibly Planned In February 1953 To Cover The Rialto Auditorium But It Didn’t Happened. The Rialto Did Had A Comeback After A Remodel Later That July And Was Reopened, But Ended Up Closing For The Final Time Later In The First Quarter Of 1954.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 9, 2022 at 12:35 am

Here is untimely news from the August 4, 1917 issue of Moving Picture World:

“Rialto Opening Delayed.

“Medford, Ore.— The Rialto, Percy-Moran Company’s new theater, which was scheduled to open July 25, will not be completed until August 5, when the grand opening will be held. The new seats for the big show house were unloaded at Chico, Cal., by mistake, causing the delay.”

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