NEW VIEWS OF THE RIALTO THEATER IN SEARCY AR!
I wrote the following blog about 8 years ago. It was a bit of a plea for keeping the Searcy historic theater around forever. It seems to be happening! These are two new pictures of the lovely old building, now being renovated with the front completed!
Searcy Arkansas has one of the oldest theaters in Arkansas. It was built in approximately 1923 and still flashes its Neon sign as busy Race Street passes within a few feet of its ticket window.
The theater building is owned by the city of Searcy as it was donated to the city by a prominent family several years ago. It is now operated by a gentleman who gets to rent it free because he paid about $75,000 of his own funds to renovate the Rialto.
It's a win-win situation because the building is not sitting vacant. Victor Weber runs the theater and charges much less for tickets than the newer Cinema 8 charges. Example is a ticket for $2 and possibly free popcorn. Mr. Weber seems to have the theater in his blood and has been in the theater business since 1954.
Personally I love having the old theater active. Memories go back to occasionally going there with my children and watching the huge reels of film as the movie was shown. But mostly we could drop the kids off and pick them up after the movie was over. We didn't worry then about child molesters and kidnappings as parents do now.
My daughter was able to get her first job working there selling behind the concession stand. The lady who patrolled the aisles trying to keep the kids in line was dreaded and feared by everyone. She had a permanent scowl that even scared us parents. Imagine my surprise when I met her later when she didn't work there and she was a lovely person who actually smiled!
Here's hoping our Rialto will be around forever!
Click here to see the old blog with picture at that time. http://activerain.com/blogsview/667985/searcy-arkansas-s-rialto-theater--on-the-court-square-