Rialto: Gone, Gone, Gone

I wrote that the roof of the Rialto Theater collapsed after a rainstorm back in June. A reader asked what was going to happen? Were they going to repair and reopen or just call in the bulldozers.

Alas, the bulldozers won

See the faint letters painted on the blacktop parking lot at the bottom of the photo. Compare this photo to one I shot from behind the theater five months earlier. There’s a lot of building gone.

Rialto Theater in June

I’m not surprised that the building was razed. When I shot interior photos of the building in February, everything behind the lobby had already been gutted to a shell.

Rialto front looks the same

The front of the building looks so much the same that I didn’t even bother to update the photo. Since what used to be the lobby is intact, I suspect that what used to be a movie theater will become regular office space.

Rialto and other theater stories

I’ve done a number of stories about Cape’s theaters. Here are some links in case you missed them.

Headed back to Florida

I’ve been in Cape for exactly a month. I have a couple of loose ends to tie up, then I’ll be packing everything up for the journey back to West Palm Beach. Once I get back there, I have to install everything onto a newer, spiffier computer. One of the two mirrored hard drives on my old machine died while I was on the trip, so Kid Matt convinced me to replace the whole machine instead of throwing money at an old box. I’m excited about a faster computer; I’m not excited about having to reinstall all the applications.

What all this means is that you may not be seeing as much stuff as usual over the next week or so. With Turkey Day coming up, I imagine you’ll be busy with family and holidays anyway. If you’re bored, go back and read some of the old stories. Folks add new comments to old posts almost every day.

I’ve given up chasing advertising, but I’m still kicking around some book options. I’ll let you know how that’s going when I know where it’s headed.

16 Replies to “Rialto: Gone, Gone, Gone”

  1. Ken,
    Thanks so much for following up on the Rialto and updating me. I have one more question for you. Cape had a drive called the Star-Vue. I have found some information on the Star-Vue but not much. I found that it was located on Highway 61 South between Cape and Jackson. But all the researching I have done I cannot find an exact address. Do you have any resources that might give the exact address? Thanks again for sharing all your memories.

    1. Chuck,

      Brune has it right. I checked a 1969 City Directory and didn’t see a listing for the Star-Vue, although I thought it lasted past that era.

      If you search Google Maps for Star-Vue, you’ll find Star-Vue Mobile Home Park. It’s located off Starview Ct.

      I drove past there last fall, but there’s nothing left that would give you a clue that a drive-in movie that had been featured in Life magazine was ever there.

      Stay tuned for another drive-in story that’s in the pipeline. I shot new photos of it last week.

  2. The old Starview is now a trailer park. Going North on Kingshighway take a left on the drive way just before Fountainbleau Lodge Nursing Home 2001 N. Kingshighway. It used to be named Starview Trailer Park but not sure now.

  3. I remember going to the Rialto and getting those suckers that were wrapped in red cellophane paper and the paper had white dots on it. (I’m sure the Esquire and Broadway had those same suckers but I only remember them from the Rialto) And then before the movie began there were newsreels about the war. I remember being scared and always relieved when those were done and the movie started. Also, wasn’t Tony’s Pizza just across the street? YUM. My memory seems to be great when it comes to food. Ticket S.

  4. Does anyone remember saving the plastic holders, that secured two quarts of Sunny Hill milk together, to use as “cash” for the movies? In the back of my mind I remember needing 10 of them to get into the movies.

  5. Kenny,

    Have a safe trip back to the Sunshine State and a filling Thanksgiving. Good luck with that new computer and all the work it entails. Thank you for all your wonderful stories and memories!

  6. Sally was correct. You could get into the Rialto on Saturday afternoon for ten Sunny Hill “plastic handles”

    Does anyone remember what was at the location of the Star-Vue prior to it being a drive in? Hillcrest Country Club was there from the late 1920’s to the early 1940’s. It was a 9 hole sand green golf course that closed during WWII due to lack of play.

    Does anyone remember the other drive in Cape on south Highway 61. I think it was just called the Cape Drive Inn.

  7. Wasn’t there a drive in right outside of Cape near Blomeyer? I think the screen is even still up…has a lot of vines covering it, but I drive past it on my way home to Leopold.

    1. Miz Toni, Mam,

      You get the Young Whippershapper Award for Eye Openedness.

      The screen of the old drive-in at Blomeyer IS still standing. I have aerial photos of it from the 60s, closeups of the vine-covered screen as it exists today and fresh aerials that I plan to run in the near future.

      I can pretty much guarantee that you never went to a movie there.

  8. This is way out of date but I thought I’d comment anyway. The Star-Vue WAS oopen past 1969. I remember because I went there a few times with my boyfriend and we didn’t start dating until I was 16 in 1970, and we DEFINATELY didn’t go to the drive-in until way after that! The trailer park was already there. If you stood in front of the Star-Vue it was to the left. I knew someone who lived there and they said they loved it because they could watch the movies from their yard. I remember that gorgeous neon screen!

    I don’t remember the Cape Drive-In, but I remember my parents packing my sisters and me up and going to see The Fall of the House of Usher. It scared me to death! That was pre-1962 I know because both the girls were still home. I think it must have been at that one because we lived in Illmo and I don’t think we would have driven all the way to Blomeyer, Cape, or Jackson to see a movie–even if it was based on Edgar Allen Poe!

  9. I remember all my Aunts & Uncles saving those green plastic handles that held two Sunny Hill quart milk cartons together. Several time I had enough to take all the neighborhood kids to see a Saturday show. Which
    consisted of 30 cartoons, several 3 stooges and usually an adventure picture. Oh yes, we all brought our squirt guns!

  10. That is gone now. My ex wife and I and my oldest lived in the old starview trailer park back in 92-93. Last time I pulled in to the old trailer court it was being raised.

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