Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The RIO: Cinemas of the World But No Longer in This World

The Rio Theater, 
323 Walnut St., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

The Rio began life in 1908 as the Majestic,  a venue for vaudeville, traveling shows, and occasional legitimate theater. It also served as a concert hall. 

Barely surviving during the Depression the Majestic interspersed films with live entertainment until 1938 when it converted to first-run motion pictures. As the Rio it booked quality films until (circa) the late 1940s when it gradually declined into a mecca for double-feature B pictures, serials, and westerns (as illustrated in the photo.

The Rio was razed in 1955 and Harrisburg's Strawberry Square now occupies most of the block across from Capitol Park where this beautiful and historic structure once stood.

You can read more about the Rio at this excellent website:


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