Rialto/ ABC Cinema, Maidenhead.

Rialto/ABC Cinema, Maidenhead.

Bridge Avenue,

Maidenhead, SL6 1RR


Original owners: Maidenhead Picture Theatres Ltd.

Architect:  Robert Cromie.

Main building contactor:  W. Creed and Company of Maidenhead.

Seating Capacity: 1350.

Date opened:  Monday October 31st 1927.

Opened by:  Binnie Hall.

First film shown: ‘Ben Hur’ starring Ramón Novarro.

Operated by Union Cinemas Ltd from:  Friday June 22nd 1928.

Operated by ABC from:  October 1937 until closure.

Date closed:  Saturday 18th May 1985.

Final film shown:  ‘Protocol’, starring Goldie Hawn.

Building demolished:  



Binnie Hall a famous musical comedy actress opened the Rialto Maidenhead on Monday October 31st 1927. The first film was ‘Ben Hur’. It was designed by Robert Cromie and the builders were W. Creed and Company of Maidenhead.

The theatre was first controlled by Maidenhead Picture Theatres Ltd. In 1928 it was run by Union Cinemas.

Union-Rialto, Maidenhead 1936.

They made a public issue on Friday June 22nd 1928 offering shares at five shillings each. They also took over the Picture Theatre, Maidenhead.

Finally, ABC, took over the Rialto in October 1937 until closure on Saturday 18th May 1985 with the film ‘Protocol’, starring Goldie Hawn.

The seating capacity was 1,350, the balcony holding 350. All the seats were tip up. The balcony seats were in purple and grey and the stalls in brown and gold, which harmonised with the general colour scheme.

There was a large stage for variety acts and an orchestra with fourteen musicians. There was also a Panatrope system installed, providing recorded music.

Western Electric sound was installed and it became the 250th British theatre to open with Western Electric. The first sound film was The Jazz Singer, which ran from the 23rd September 1929.

It is possible that Simplex was used with WE when run by Union and the Ross with RCA installed when ABC took control.

Rialto Cinema café, Maidenhead.

There was a café open seven days a week. This was open from 11am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and 3 until 10pm on Sunday.

There was a large car park catering for 150 cars.

It was closed on 18th May 1985. An office block was built on the site.


David A. Ellis©chestercinemas.co.uk