The Rialto Theater Center is a three-story addition to the west of the historic Rialto Theater in downtown Loveland which houses a restaurant, public event/conference space, expanded theater facilities, and private offices. The Theater Center acts as a much-needed public gathering space for the community as well as an anchor for Loveland’s downtown revitalization efforts.
Next Door Food and Drink is the tapas restaurant and wine bar on the main floor of the center. The ground floor also houses expanded storage, a workshop and dressing rooms for the theater. On the second floor, the City of Loveland operates a beautiful new 2,500 square foot facility including a community room, reception space and conference room. The space is available for wedding receptions, holiday celebrations, business meetings, graduation parties, seminars or training sessions. Private offices will occupy the third floor.
For information on renting the Rialto Theater or the event space on the second floor, contact Brittany Koonce at 970-962-2115 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out information on bar packages or event catering for the theater or event space.
The Rialto Theater opened in May 1920 with 1,040 wooden seats, screening silent films and hosting local ceremonies. Completed at the beginning of a nationwide art nouveau theater boom, the Rialto quickly became part of the traveling vaudeville circuit. In 1935 the Rialto was purchased and remodeled into a modern movie house that could accommodate the new “talkies” of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The theater thrived under the management of Ted and Mabel Thompson until 1947.
After the Great Depression, many of the grand old houses fell asleep, right along with the downtowns they occupied. The Rialto changed ownership several times and was eventually converted into a mini-mall in the late 70’s. In 1987, the Loveland Downtown Development Authority drew up plans to restore the theater to its 1920 grandeur, and in 1988, the Rialto was added to the National Register of Historic Places. After years of fundraising and thousands of hours of volunteer labor, the Rialto Theater reopened in February 1996.
Today the Rialto Theater shows that these Grand Dame theaters still hold the power to awe. It is a thriving, 446-seat performing arts center in downtown Loveland equipped with modern sound, lighting and ticketing equipment. The Rialto regularly hosts nationally touring musicians, local theater and choral groups, independent and silent films, seminars, training meetings and local school functions.
The Rialto Theater Center (originally named the Rialto Bridge Project) is a joint venture between the City of Loveland, the Rialto Bridge, LLC and the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado. The project received the green light from Loveland City Council on April 19, 2011 and broke ground on June 1, 2011. The two buildings west of the theater, which most recently housed Quality Shoe Repair and Monaco Trattoria, were razed and the three-story Rialto Event Center was constructed over the next nine months.
Next Door Food and Drink, the restaurant on the ground level of the center, opened to the public on March 8, 2012. The City portion of the building, including the expanded storage, workshop and dressing rooms on the first floor and the event space on the second floor, is scheduled to open April 11, 2012 with a weekend-long celebration featuring a performance by soul music icon Aaron Neville. The third floor contains privately-owned office space.
The Loveland Reporter-Herald kept very close tabs on the Rialto Theater Center as the project developed, including time-lapse photography of its construction. Click here for their archive of articles on the Rialto Theater Center.
Information on the history of the Rialto Theater provided by the Rialto Theater Guild.