“whilst famous for thier industry and thrift, Rochdale people are removed from misery, and it seems a fairly pure prophecy that not a single unit of the twenty five thousand homes will resist the appeal of the stately Rialto pleasure house”
Rialto Cinema Rochdale
Rialto Cinema Rochdale. The Rialto cinema built by R & T Howarth Ltd. and opened by Gracie Fields on 27th August 1928. One of the eleven cinemas serving Rochdale. It was bought by the Rank organisation in the 1950s and renamed The Odeon, and converted into a Bingo hall in 1979. It was badly damaged by fire in February 1981 and demolished in April 1981.
An extract from Paul Wild’s study of recreation in Rochdale:
“On 26 March 1928 the Victory Super Cinema was opened, making a total of nine commercially run cinemas within a one mile radius of the Town Hall, each showing twice nightly or continuous programmes plus matinees. Six months later the Rialto (Rialto Cinema Rochdale Ltd), with directors Madigan, Close, Lord and Hoyle was opened with a film called “Dawn”. Full programmes started at 2.45, 6.45 and 8.45pm.; prices were 1s.3d. and 6d. Perhaps most significant was the fact that the Rialto offered a cafe and lounge plus a well-appointed cinema, with carpets and comfortable seating, The owners emphasized: “whilst famous for thier industry and thrift, Rochdale people are removed from misery, and it seems a fairly pure prophecy that not a single unit of the twenty five thousand homes will resist the appeal of the stately Rialto pleasure house”.
The following photos were taken during the cinemas demolition and were kindly supplied by Harold Howarth.
Catherine Kelly CunnaneI met a couple of dates outside here. Really stingy ones met you inside, you didn’t usually see them again! Brill days. 15 August at 05:28
Colin FittonSaw James Bond films there. Queued up around the corner!
15 August at 05:27
Steve AshworthI remember it was far more ornate and grand than the Regal (ABC).
15 August at 07:56
Susan KitsonRemember queuing for sound of music around the corner
15 August at 09:14
John LordAnother mysterious fire in Rochdale, surprise surprise, it seems like the easiest way for developers to get their own way.