Rialto Theatre: The Government of Canada writes on its site: “The Rialto Theatre National Historic Site of Canada, located on du Parc Avenue in Montréal’s Outremont neighbourhood, is an early 20th-century movie theatre designed in the Beaux-Arts style. Distinguished by its monumental columned façade, and inspired by the Paris Opéra, the five-storey theatre also features a richly decorated neo-Baroque interior, designed by the famed theatre designer, Emmanuel Briffa. Official recognition consists of the building on the legal property on which it sat at the time of recognition.”
Photo Credit: Jean Gagnon, 2011
My brothers and I used to go to the Rialto Theatre (or Cinéma Rialto at 5723 avenue du Parc, Montréal) every Saturday afternoon to watch films; the admission was 50 cents. It was and remains on avenue du Parc down the street from where we resided, but it no longer shows movies. It is now a venue for live entertainment.
This building, completed in December 1924 with a Beaux-Arts façade and a neo-baroque interior—inspired by the Paris Opera—was designated, in 1993, as a National Historic Site of Canada. It is important to note that before 1961, children under the age of 16 were not allowed to enter cinemas, a result of the tragic fire at the Laurier Palace Theatre (at 3215 Saint Catherine Street East) on January 9, 1927, which killed 78 children.
By the time we went to the movies (circa 1967), the law had changed. Even so, my mother used to mention the fire on numerous occasions, usually before we went to the movies. But we were living in modern times and being young never thought of such “dangers.”
|Opening Night: The Rialto site writes: “The Rialto on a wintry day just before its opening on 27 December 1924. The ‘torch’ and the building-long iron-and-glass canopy are in place, and the ads for the opening movie, In Every Woman’s Life, are in the panels beside the doors. A florist, dress shop and tobacconist are among the stores already open.”|
Photo Credit & Source: The Rialto