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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rialto Theatre Fire - 1960's

This is a picture of what I believe is the fire at the Rialto Theatre that used to be on Fairfield Avenue in Morrellville. This is a family photo - and nothing was written on the back. As far as I can remember  - it happened sometime in the 1960's. If anyone has an exact date - please let me know.

11 comments:

Jane Horner said...

According to JFD's 100th anniversary book, that fire was November 28.1966

Mandy said...

My great grandparents owned the Rialto Theatre and a corner of it is in this picture. However, my grandfather says the building burning in this photo is the candy store next door to the theater.

Mandy said...

My great grandparents owned the Rialto Theatre and a corner of it is in this picture. However, my grandfather says the building burning in this photo is the candy store next door to the theater.

March 4, 2012 6:48 PM

Anonymous said...

The fire that destroyed the Rialto Theater did occur on 28 November, 1966, but I don't believe the photo depicts that event. The right side of the Rialto always depicted the 'coming attractions' one-sheets, which on the day of the Rialto fire featured a one-sheet and some lobby cards for the 1965 release 'Die, Monster, Die!' starring Boris Karloff and Nick Adams. The photo does appear to show a segment of the Rialto, but not during the time of the fire that destroyed it.

Were Mandy's great-grandparents the Farkases?

Mandy said...

Yes, they were the Farkakes. To whom am I speaking?

Anonymous said...

My name is Carl Schultz. I grew up in Johnstown's West End during the 1960s. Like a lot of other kids in those days, I spent nearly every Saturday afternoon at Roseland and nearly every Sunday afternoon at the Rialto. My friends and I punctuated our time at Roseland and the Rialto with visits to the Dairy Dell, next door to the Rialto, for hamburgers and Cherry Cokes.

The first movie of the Sunday double-feature at the Rialto almost always started in the middle. As kids, we never knew the reason why. Being kids, we didn't know any better. We thought maybe all movies started in the middle. Years later I learned the reason:

On Saturday nights, after the last patron left the theatre--or, considering the Rialto's Saturday night patronage, was chased out--the projectionist simply turned off the projector, no matter which part of the movie was currently showing. At two o'clock the next afternoon, with an audience full of kids, the projectionist turned the projector back on, and the movie resumed at whatever point it had been stopped the previous night.

I believe the Farkases also owned the Lyric, the Laurel, and the Dale Theaters.

Anonymous said...

My family lived at 58 D St., corner of Grass Ave. from 1958-1962.

I remember being allowed to see The Horse Soldiers at the Rialto on a Weds. night/school night since I was such a Civil War fan.

I also remember the sweet shop at the corner of D St. and Fairfield Ave. where a real Kentucky rifle
hung above the candy counter. I stopped by there several times a week on my way home from Garfield Jr. High School just to look at that rifle!

EG

Anonymous said...

I remember watching the Rialto burn that November night. Friends of my parents lived in an upstairs apartment. Everyone got out safely. It was thought to have started from a lit cigarette in one of those apartments. I agree with the date, but I seem to remember that it was near the 1 year anniversary of JFK's assassination, not 1966. I don't remember movies starting in the middle, but I remember many of the ones I watched there. Invasion of the Saucer Men, The Wasp Woman, The Time Machine, The Angry Red Planet, The Three Stooges......

Anonymous said...

The sweet shop at the corner of Fairfield Avenue and D Street was Blaine Boring's. The Boring family long ago sold their remaining interest in the business, but the name goes on: Blaine Boring's Candies now is located in the building once occupied by the Act III Restaurant, at the corner of Market and Locust Streets in downtown Johnstown.

Unknown said...

I believe I was in that fire, little boy then upstair apt. Flame less than 10' from blocking stairwell. That's how I found this page. Looking for info on Pierce Electric Supply, occupying bottom floor. In my underwear wrappwd in a blanket. With icicles hanging from the firemans helmet.

Unknown said...

I believe I was in that fire maybe 7-8 staying with my aunt in the top apt. Flames less than 10' from blocking only stairwell down. I remember standing outside in my underwear, wrapped in a blanket. The firemen had icicles hanging from their helmets. I always called it the Pierce Electric Supply bldg. They occupied the ground floor to the best of my knowledge.