Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tarnished Treasure

Encased in chicken wire, the Rialto awaits its fate. Will it join the list of other beloved movie palaces that have been saved and transformed into thriving entertainment centers? I explore this question in my Patch column this week, including a 12 minute video of interviews with others who love the Rialto as much as I do. It should post sometime this afternoon.

10 comments:

Judy Williams said...

It reminds me of a partially finished work of sculpture that is going to get another coat of something to create the finished piece.

Fingers crossed that there are those who will step up to the plate. Our Paramount Theater had those benefactors, and it was restored to its former glory.

Anonymous said...

Where is your column?!?

Laurie said...

It's up now!

Anonymous said...

I can't get Patch to post my comments so I'll comment here. First of all, excellent work on your Rialto articles and films. Now I understand the complexity of the issue. What I think this needs is leadership. Court some investors and make them aware of this city treasure!

Green Guy said...

Great work, Laurie.

Trish said...

great work Laurie!

my memories of the Rialto go back to the early 70's. The first movie I remember seeing was there. The first movie I got to attend by myself without parents in tow was at the Rialto. A first date, to a movie, with a real live guy was at the Rialto. It was a place my parents would LET me go by myself and walk home (tho one night I *did* get help getting home by the ever so helpful SPPD who decided 9:30p was too late for me to be out by myself. We weren't allowed to go into Pasadena or Eagle Rock alone--would that we could get there alone too, but to the Rialto, absolutely! The last show I saw there---the week my mother died, "4 Weddings and a Funeral", will ever be burned into my memory. Laughing, crying, letting out my grief in the darkness of my old friend, the Rialto. Allowing my father to let out his grief for a woman he had loved for nearly 40 years. The smells, the sounds, the chair springs hitting you in rather sensitive spots---even that is a fun memory. Where I live now has a small theater that has been rebuilt into 2 screens. Not the same, but they saved the building and movies for this small town (funny, I moved from one small town to another).

The Auden poem within "4 Weddings and a Funeral" was so poignant at the time, but also so now. The last sentence of each verse would ring so very true were the Rialto not preserved:

"...Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come...
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves...
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong...
For nothing now can ever come to any good."

Anonymous said...

phenomenal piece. You are a filmmaker, too? wow. Thanks for all the research and for bringing this to light.

Shanna said...

The Rialto article article is really terrific, Laurie!

It really captures the feel of what it was like to be with friends there and to enjoy the romance of a truly beautiful building while watching, as you said, a story unfold.

It also projects us into a future in which we can again be there and enjoy it and all it has to bring to us.

Vladimir said...

Wonderful essay, Laurie.

Have you thought about running for City Council? Saving the Rialto would make a great Council project.

Laurie said...

Thanks so much, everyone!

Vladimir, I have no desire to run for city council. I love South Pasadena, but politics is definitely not the place for me!