|afternoon matinee 18" x 40" oil on canvas|
Just finished this painting of the historic Rialto Theater in South Pasadena. Really liked the drama of the minimal hits of sunlight against the predominantly shaded street front. The painting is a little larger than I normally work, but the challenge was very enjoyable.
Located at the corner of Fair Oaks and Oxley, the Rialto Theater was built in 1925. Its architecture is a mix of several styles, including Moorish, Egyptian, Spanish Baroque and Classical features - all contributing to the theater’s Jazz Age charm. It seated 1200 people and included ten dressing rooms, a backstage scenery loft, Wurlitzer pipe organ, orchestra pit and a deep stage. Though the Rialto Theatre survived the death of vaudeville, two fires and threats of demolition and conversion to a parking lot, it finally succumbed to low ticket sales and closed on August 19, 2007.
Because the Rialto is on the National Register of Historic Places, the building has been saved from demolition with a movement underway to restore the theater. During its long history, rumors of the theatre being haunted have been consistently circulated. There are stories of people having died there, particularly a girl who allegedly slit her wrists in the bathroom before making her way up to the balcony and bleeding to death. Another story is of a man who went insane in the projector booth.