Experiencing Theatre Rialto

This past Sunday a couple classmates I visited Rialto Theatre on Parc Avenue to gain some information for an assignment in my Canadian Culture through Film class. The assignment asked that students visit different theatres around Montreal to take photos of the premises and gain historical knowledge. Although this trip was a requirement, I was immediately intrigued by my surroundings upon entering the establishment.

            The Rialto Theatre is one of the most iconic buildings of Montreal. From the street you see entrance is wrapped in faded gold molding. The lobby is littered with paintings of iconic theatre stars as you walk along the worn stone/tile floors. No matter where you look Rialto is inscribed into building. The winding stone staircases were fitted with classic red-velvet looking carpet. Gold chandeliers hung from all over the ceiling. This theatre encompassed every aspect of the picturesque image that I imagined in my head before visiting.
            After sticking my head around for a few minutes attempting to find the box office, I realized that it was not apart of the main entrance. I headed back out to the street and followed signs for the box office to a side entrance. Once inside I realized I was standing in the entrance of a restaurant. In front of me another stone staircase covered in red carpet stretched up to a small desk labeled Box Office. I walked to the top of the stairs to find out the box office is unfortunately closed on Sunday’s. Feeling defeated I walked back down to the hostess to see if she could point me in the direction of any theatre brochures containing history of the property or general information. All that she had for me was a schedule of upcoming shows which didn’t help. But just as I was thanking her for her efforts before heading out, a gentleman that seemed to be pulled right out of the show Sopranos piped up from his chair and asked, “Yous guys tourists or somethin?” I explained that we were students interested in taking photos of the theatre and gaining some historical information. Without hesitation the man told us to explore the theatre and make ourselves at home. He also mentioned that play practice was taking place on the ground floor so we could get some great pictures of that, as well as the rest of the beautiful theatre. So that’s just what we did, and wow did those shots look outstanding. We even took photos of the actors practicing from the mezzanine.
            What could have easily turned out to be a waste of a trip, ended up being the best possible circumstance we could have asked for. Check out some of the photographs Kelsey Smith and I captured during our time at Rialto Theatre!

– Written by Ryan Terry, Marketing major, Spring 2013