Washington Street marque
The gutted interior still replete with 1930s wall decorations
Empty reels cast spooky shadows on a storeroom wall
View of the main street from the ticket window
A row of 25-cent tickets
OF ALL the Bee County landmarks, the Rialto Theater is king. It dominates Washington Street just as movies have dominated our lives. It was built in 1922, rebuilt in the 1930s after a fire. The projectors and the tube-powered audio amplifies were shut down for good in 1986. It clings tenaciously to life, thanks to the infusion of more than $1 million in renovations by the Hall Rialto Preservation Association which, sadly, has more enthusiasm than funding. It needs another $700,000 and 20 months to complete. But whatever the state of its interior, the marque with its neon decorations still glows on occasion, to serve as a reminder that it’s still a work in progress, its last chapter not yet written.
This is the 13th, and final, Bee County landmarks photo essay, following the spirit of Samuel Beckett who was, among other things, a playwright and theater director:
From things about to disappear I turn away in
time. To watch them go out of sight,
no, I cannot do it.