Rialto Theatre

 
 

The Tampa Heights area is really starting to make a name for itself with new businesses like Hidden Springs Ale Works, The Hall on Franklin, and Foundation Coffee Co. popping up. One of the first to this revival, the Rialto Theatre, is marking a new age in it's own history. With the help of power couple Hope Donnelly and George Carter II of 8-Count Productions, the Rialto is now a premiere event location. Those of us who have experienced the Rialto have likely done it while attending Tampa's Indie Flea, but outside of local markets the Rialto also hosts events like weddings, yoga classes, and fashion shows.

Opening in 1924, the Rialto Theatre has been quite an array of venues, everything from a live theatre to an auto repair shop. Today, the Rialto is a collaborative event space and art gallery. Beautiful royal blue doors now welcome you from the street and compliment the blonde brick and tile façade perfectly. Maintaining it's classic character, the iconic 25-foot wide proscenium arch and exposed brick are original. The large white walls act as a blank canvas, allowing you to shape the venue to your vision. There is an unshakable grandness about the Rialto that only comes with time and history.

Designed by Francis J. Kennard of Kennard & Son, who was also behind the designs of The Floridian Hotel, The Biltmore Hotel, and the Clearwater Public Library.

Designed by Francis J. Kennard of Kennard & Son, who was also behind the designs of The Floridian Hotel, The Biltmore Hotel, and the Clearwater Public Library.

The Rialto Theatre circa 1945, when the film "Hotel Berlin" was first released.

The Rialto Theatre circa 1945, when the film "Hotel Berlin" was first released.

Three main areas create a flexible space that can flow easily, making the Rialto an ideal location for plenty of events. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, as well as a dubbed local landmark, this place is an undeniable gem of the Tampa Bay area.

Fun little tidbit - Hope and George were the first couple to get married at the Rialto. There's a certain sweetness when it comes to them hosting weddings for others at the very place they also said "I do."

Contact Hope Donnelly on information on how to rent this space out yourself. You can even rent it out for photoshoots! Just ask! 

For more information on the Rialto Theatre, and perhaps some inspiration for your own event, be sure to check out their social media - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

360 View of The Rialto Theatre in Tampa, Florida. Credit: Jacob Berrier

 

Written by: Erin