- This article is about the South Pasadena, CA theatre. For the London UK theatre, see Rialto Cinema
Theater Location: 1023 Fair Oaks Avenue, South Pasadena, CA
Theater Status: Closed
The Rialto Theatre opened for vaudeville and movies on October 17, 1925. It changed ownership several times, and became part of the Landmark Theatres art house chain in 1976. The 1200 seat, ornate theater fell into disrepair after many years of constant use, and was slated for demolition in 1977 until local patrons circulated petitions to save it from becoming a parking lot. As a result, the Rialto Theatre was designated a local listing of Historic Cultural Monument in 1977 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show began its engagement at the Rialto in January, 1978, just after The First 30 US Theaters with a regular midnight run. It remained there for three decades with Voyeuristic Intention as the primary cast for the theater. From 1999 to 2005, the cast for the theater was Rocky Whores. A farewell performance was held on December 29, 2007 featuring Dark Refrain. The Rialto was a popular Rocky Horror destination in the early years, and one of the longest-running venues for the film.
Director Tim Burton attended screenings there as a patron and an employee in the late '70s.
The Rialto sat empty after the final Rocky Horror screening, and the building was deemed unfit for business in 2010 when the building began to crumble. In late 2014, after much concern for its fate, the theater was purchased by a local developer who planned a revival, though in April 2017, the theater was leased to a church which is yet to open its doors.
The Rialto is featured on The Rocky Horror Picture Show - 45th Anniversary Limited Edition Vinyl Picture Disc