Rialto Cinema Rochdale

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.

Rialto Cinema Rochdale

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.

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  Catherine Kelly Cunnane I 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 Fitton Saw James Bond films there. Queued up around the corner!
15 August at 05:27


  Steve Ashworth I remember it was far more ornate and grand than the Regal (ABC).
15 August at 07:56


  Susan Kitson Remember queuing for sound of music around the corner
15 August at 09:14


  John Lord Another mysterious fire in Rochdale, surprise surprise, it seems like the easiest way for developers to get their own way.
15 August at 17:38


  Jean Pickersgill Had regular seats every week 1950s
15 August at 16:52


  Gloria Slyne Catherine I am with you on that meeting outside the Odeon or the Regal wondering if they would turn up and always expecting them to pay, does not happen now
15 August at 12:10


  Sandra Hepworth Worked here one school holidays – and never bought a hotdog there again! ( you don’t want to know ) …
15 August at 10:58


  Jenny Went When I was a little girl (1950s) there was a cafe next to the cinema on Drake St. When it was my birthday my mum used to take me there for an ice cream served in a little silver dish!
15 August at 09:56


  Davros Hopwood Snuck into me first X film there, Enter the Dragon…yeah !
15 August at 08:55


  BrennanandSharon Rushton Javed Chowdry it was at the top of drake street across from the citizen pub on the same land as MFI building was
15 August at 08:42


  Nicola Holt Used to go to kids film club
15 August at 07:34


  Geoffrey Graham Sweeney Can anyone name the other 10 cinemas ?
16 August at 17:00


  Paul Swinbourne Remember seeing planet of the apes there..
15 August at 21:58


  Steve Smith I saw Snow White and the seven … That which hey
15 August at 18:02


  Linda Robinson Remember it well!
15 August at 14:37


  Meg Barlow I had my 1st date there with my ex husband,can’t remember the film
15 August at 10:07


  Carole Talks Wasnt that the odean
15 August at 09:26


  Bridget Roe Saw Jaws there!
15 August at 08:24


  Javed Chowdry Where was it? I can’t picture it?
15 August at 08:22


  Jen Taylor Happy days!
15 August at 09:17


  Denis Williams R&T Howarth……great Rochdale company which went into receivership. Allegedly for unpaid debts, which were less than Rochdale Corporation owed them for work done.
15 August at 15:19

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