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The Rialto Cinema, Coventry Street, London

Other Leicester Square Theatres and Cinemas

The former Rialto Cinema, Coventry Street, now a Casino, in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Photo M.L.

Above - The former Rialto Cinema, Coventry Street, now a Casino, in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Photo M.L.

 

The side elevation of the former Rialto Cinema, now a Casino, in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Photo M.LThe Rialto Cinema in Coventry Street, Leicester Square, London is situated opposite the Prince of Wales Theatre and was designed in the French Renaissance style by the architects Hippolyte Blanc, and opened on the 18th of March 1913.

Externally the Cinema's main entrance has an interesting, if quite narrow facade, although round the corner in Rupert Street it has an intriguing side elevation which reveals part of the shape of its auditorium.

Internally the building had a richly decorated auditorium with plasterwork by Horace Gilbert, and could seat 684 people on its opening, with 452 in the stalls and 232 in its single balcony.

Right - The side elevation of the former Rialto Cinema, now a Casino, in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Photo ML

The Rialto is one of the oldest Cinema buildings in London's West End to have survived, and it functioned as a Cinema from its inception right up to 1982, although it did have some brief closures due to bomb damage during the second world war.

After 1982, when the Cinema was closed due to its lease expiring, it remained dark for many years until it was eventually converted into a branch of the Fashion Cafe, and then later into a Chicago Rock Cafe in 2002.

The building was later converted into a Casino, which it still is today. The conversion saw the building being restored however, and its elaborate interior is still in evidence to visitors today.

The Rialto is a Grade II Listed Building.

 

The Rialto Cinema, Coventry Street, during the showing of the film 'The Seven Year Itch' with Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell in August 1955 - Photograph by F. C. Hailstone - Courtesy Allan Hailstone.

Above - The Rialto Cinema, Coventry Street, during the showing of the film 'The Seven Year Itch' with Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell in August 1955 - Photograph by F. C. Hailstone - Courtesy Allan Hailstone.

 

The Rialto Cinema, Coventry Street, during the showing of the film 'Black Widow' in a photograph taken on the 11th of April 1955 - Courtesy Allan Hailstone.

Above - The Rialto Cinema, Coventry Street, during the showing of the film 'Black Widow' in a photograph taken on the 11th of April 1955 - Courtesy Allan Hailstone.

The same view of the Rialto Cinema, Coventry Street as the 1955 photo shown above - Photo M.L. May 2011

Above - The same view of the Rialto Cinema, Coventry Street as the 1955 photo shown above - Photo ML May 2011

Some of the information on this page was gleaned from the excellent Cinema Treasures Website.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

 

You may find the following pages from this site of interest: