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Rialto Theater

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1923; 1940 remodeled. 100 W. Race Ave.

The Rialto Theater is located on the courthouse square and has been in continuous operation since it replaced a theater torn down in 1923 to make way for this one. In 1940, the theater underwent an extensive remodeling at which time the present Art Deco neon-lit marquee and signage were added to the facade. The sixty-seven-foot vertical sign installed in November 1940 at the center of the facade has vertical staggered and stepped panels painted in four colors—blue, red, green, and yellow—and the neon-lit name of the theater runs vertically down the center panel. A marquee angles over the sidewalk and is neon lit with curved abstract designs. Built during segregation, the theater was given two entrances: one for white theatergoers, featuring double glass doors and recessed between peach-colored walls, and a smaller entrance beside it for African American patrons.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors
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Citation

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Rialto Theater", [Searcy, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AR-01-WH2.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 241-242.

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