Rialto Theatre (Tampa, Florida)
History and museums
The Rialto Theatre opened in 1926 and closed sometime in the 40's or 50's although the St. Pete Times lists it as closing sometime in the 70's. It was listed in the 1941 & 1943 editions of the Film Daily Yearbook as the Rialto Theater with a seating capacity of 375, and in the 1950 edition of the same yearbook as “The Cinema” with a seating capacity of 530.
The Rialto changed its name to simply "The Cinema" sometime after World War II and closed its doors a few years later, seemingly as an early victim of television and suburbanization. After the theatre closed it was used as a machinery factory which closed in 2005 and the theatre has sat empty until last October with the proscenium, fly house, and balcony still intact.
8-Count Studios now claims the Rialto as its home, housing multiple dance studios, artist studios, an art gallery, offices, production space, and event space in hopes of forming beneficial relationships between artists of many media and art supporters.
8-Count Studios boasts over 5,000 square feet available for classes, networking, fundraisers, fashion shows, or performances, divided into three event spaces which provide a variety of options for set-up and event production.
The Rialto is located in an Area of Tampa's Franklin Street nominated for listing in National Register of Historic Places March 19, 2010 Tampa Bay Times, and recently nicknamed the "Yellow Brick Row" during the Better Block Project North Franklin Street in January 2015. It is located in the National Register of Historic Places listed Upper North Franklin Street Commercial District. The building's architecture is credited to P.J. Kennard (Philip F. Kennard was the son of Tampa-based architect Francis J. Kennard). It has a blonde brick and terra cotta facade.