South Pasadena's decrepit Rialto Theatre, closed for years, is now on track to become a fully restored hot spot in sleepy South Pas. It's just been purchased by noted developer/historic-building-restorer Izek Shomof, who's responsible for the coming mixed-use transformation of the giant Sears complex in Boyle Heights, as well as the rehab of Downtown's Alexandria Hotel and Title Insurance building. He plans to restore the 1925 theater and turn it into an entertainment venue, possibly with a bar and screenings of old movies, says the LA Times.
The 1,200-seat Rialto's been closed since 2010 (when a piece of the facade broke off), but it didn't hit the market until this past June, when the family that's owned it since the 1930s put it up for sale for an undisclosed amount. (The price of the sale is also unknown right now.) Surprisingly, there was no shortage of interested buyers for the needy fixer-upper; Quentin Tarantino was very close to buying it and the company that owns and operates the Vista Theatre in Los Feliz was rumored to be sniffing around the site too. (Architect Lewis A. Smith designed both the Vista and the Rialto.)
Shomof's still negotiating with possible tenants for the space, so there's no word yet on exactly who might be moving in, but meanwhile repair of the theater's exterior is expected to begin "within months." The interior needs a lot of work as well, but it's not clear when that might happen or what it might cost. The Rialto's interior still has its original murals, as well as a Batchelder tile drinking fountain.
· South Pasadena's historic Rialto Theatre sold to downtown developer [LAT]
· South Pasadena's Crumbling Rialto Theatre For Sale For the First Time Since the 1930s [Curbed LA]