At the dawn of the 20th century, there was a peanut stand on Main Street in Bozeman.
** This story is from our newest issue of Pure Montana magazine. Read more here. **
It soon was built into a storefront, and later became a U.S. Post Office. The Ellen theatre opened its doors right across the street in 1919, and as the 20’s roared into Bozeman, locals welcomed the final transformation of the peanut property, in 1924, into the glamorous, art-deco-styled Rialto Theatre. While the Ellen hosted vaudeville theatre and other live acts, this new venue focused on cinema, showing up to five different motion pictures a week. As televisions found their way into most homes, the Rialto increasingly favored independent and art films over blockbusters. 1982 brought a major interior renovation, and Bozeman’s silver screen flickered on for two more decades, until the Rialto closed in 2005. Its hiatus lasted 10 years, until fall 2015, when investors of Main Street’s new Lark Hotel purchased the vacant theater. New ownership commissioned local ThinkTank Design Group to remodel the property, which officially reopened in early 2018. Now, the multi-faceted Rialto proudly presents a cocktail bar, space for community or private events, and a state-of-the-art theatre. At the Rialto, the show will go on.
Find an updated listing of upcoming shows at the Rialto here. This weekend, the Rialto presents Jesse Joyce, a stand-up comedian and Emmy Nominated/WGA Award Winning writer, and Storyhill, a “folk duo that brings infectious melodies, smart story songs and heartbreaking harmonies together in one perfect package.” Next week, stop by to experience Stettie Ruth, “a roving, ever-changing and hand-curated show of art displayed in unique non-gallery spaces.”
The Rialto is just the beginning of Southwest Montana’s rich arts and culture scene. If you’d like to live in one of Montana’s most vibrant cities, start browsing Bozeman real estate today!
PHOTO: Bozeman property for sale, featuring 201 & 201 1/2 N Black Avenue. For more information, contact Jackie Miller at (406) 539-5003.