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Rialto Cinema

Reddi

master brummie
Members of BHF have always come up trumps when I have had a particular query so here is another one. Continuing to research my wife's family history I have obtained her Maternal Grandfathers death cert. and it states that he died on the 18th April 1953 at the Rialto Cinema, Stratford Road. This may sound macabre but does anyone have any idea as to what was showing at the Cinema on that particular day or where I could find out this information, perhaps even photos of what the Cinema looked like. My apologies if anyone feels that this is an inappropriate request but it is only so that I can give her some idea of her Grandfather's interests, she does have memories of him, being 6yrs old at the time of his death.
Many thanks, Reddi
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Only the Gazette and th esports Argus are available online for that date. the Argus (understandably) has nothing on cinemas, and the Gazette only has adverts for city centre ones
 

Phil

Retired Layabout
The Rialto cinema was on the corner of Greenbank Avenue and Stratford Road in Hall Green. It closed as a cinema in 1959 when it was either remodelled or rebuilt and reopened as a supermarket.

Hall Green Rialto Stratford Rd - Greenbank Rd.JPG
 

Radiorails

master brummie
The Rialto is mentioned in a few threads, principally:-
and https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/then-now.44065/
But I don't know whether the question in post #1 would be answered.
 

farmerdave

master brummie
Best I can suggest is "The Cruel Sea". According to Wikipedia this was released in the UK on 24th March 1953. I also know that I saw it at the Rialto Cinema, about half a mile from where I lived. Dave.
 

Reddi

master brummie
It is always good to know that Members can come up with answers to questions raised in the various forums as shown above. I now have the names of possible film titles to research and pics of the Cinema. Many thanks.
Reddi
 

OuterCircleBus

master brummie
Members of BHF have always come up trumps when I have had a particular query so here is another one. Continuing to research my wife's family history I have obtained her Maternal Grandfathers death cert. and it states that he died on the 18th April 1953 at the Rialto Cinema, Stratford Road. This may sound macabre but does anyone have any idea as to what was showing at the Cinema on that particular day or where I could find out this information, perhaps even photos of what the Cinema looked like. My apologies if anyone feels that this is an inappropriate request but it is only so that I can give her some idea of her Grandfather's interests, she does have memories of him, being 6yrs old at the time of his death.
Many thanks, Reddi
Looking at pjmburn's post it seem that the film shown at the Rialto on 18th April 1953 was "House of Wax". It is described as follows: "House of Wax is a 1953 American color 3-D horror thriller film, about a disfigured sculptor who repopulates his destroyed wax museum by murdering people and using their wax-coated corpses as displays."
Reading about the film and its 3-D effects it would have scared this living daylights out of many people. There is quite a bit to read at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Wax_(1953_film).
Houseofwax1.jpg
 

wam

master brummie
There's something odd about that. According to the wikipedia article House of Wax was released generally (to all cinemas) in the USA on 25th April 1953. There had been a premiere in New York a fortnight earlier but that would still mean the Rialto had it a week before most of the USA.
According to IMDB https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045888/releaseinfo?ref_=tt_dt_dt the film wasn't released here until 7th May. Either this was a preview screening not a regular show or there's some mistake. Given the odd nature of the 3D process at the time (2 projectors and, usually 2 projectionists along with an intermission half way through to change reels) I wouldn't want to bet they used the 3D version for previews.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Wikipaedia is often inaccurate - they do invite corrections - as the information is reliant often on the contributors memory or based on history which is often wide of the mark. Verification is not always given.
It is not as bad as the fake news often found on Facebook. Some of the 'highly imaginative' news reporting today often has its origin in Facebook I believe. I guess it is more easy to look at a computer screen that tread the streets in a fact finding mission. ;)
 
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Malc Toy

The Baggie Man
I used to live a few doors down from the Rialto at 973 Stratford Road from 1957 to 1968 and well remember the Rialto cinema. My friends and I used to attempt to look older than we were - early teens at the time, in an effort to ‘get in’ to watch X rated films which, by today’s standards, were pretty tame! It was demolished to make way for a new building by Finefare supermarket.

Opposite the cinema was a zebra crossing and I remember seeing a youngish woman lying in the road surrounded by police and ambulance men. She was killed outright by a hit and run driver in a Jaguar and the collision was so violent, it amputated one of her legs. The driver subsequently came forward and I believe was charged with causing death by dangerous driving probably at high speed and intoxicated.
 

Chris B

master brummie
THE RIALTO CINEMA Stratford Road and Greenbank Avenue.
The Rialto Cinema was opened on 3rd October 1927 with Constance Talmadge in “Breakfast at Sunrise” and Marcella Albani in “Circus Life”. It was owned by the Springfield Picture Playhouse Ltd. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. The side-walls were decorated with spears & shields, and there were torches on top of long poles, which were topped with a light fixtures. There were also mural decorations of Roman charioteers. On 24th March 1930, the Rialto Cinema was equipped with a Compton (Model J) 2Manual/5Ranks organ, which was opened by organists Frederick Warrender & Foley Bates.

The Rialto Cinema was closed on 30th May 1959 with Sophia Loren in “Black Orchid” and Charles Bronson in “When Hell Broke Loose”. It was demolished and a supermarket was built on the site,
 

Attachments

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
I didn't realise that is was owned by the same people who presumably owned the Springfield Cinema on the corner of Stratford Road and Solihull Road, Chris.

Maurice :cool:
 
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