What's the status of the Rialto Theater in Bozeman, Montana?
February 16, 2015 12:44 PM   Subscribe

Is Bozeman's Rialto Theater operational? I ask because I almost took a job there a couple years ago, and wonder what ever happened to the place.

In 2013, I very nearly took a job as the Rialto's film curator. The theater — a pretty, old storefront theater in Bozeman's downtown — had recently been restored, and the owner had ambitious plans to make it into a vibrant cultural center, with movies, live music, community events.

For various reasons, I didn't take the job, but remain curious about how the place is doing. The last event listed on its website is from April 2013 — an event I happened to witness. Has nothing else happened since then? Is the theater even operational? I can't find any news about it online.

This is a total shot in the dark, I know, but I figure there might be some Bozeman MeFites out there.
posted by Dr. Wu to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Bozeman Film Society seems pretty active--you might try contacting them and seeing what's the latest on the Rialto.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:37 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

It looks like there was an event held there in September 2013, by the same folks who hosted the April 2013 event. So it lasted five months, at least. However, I couldn't find any more recent web evidence, and I agree that things do not look good.
posted by Johnny Assay at 1:41 PM on February 16, 2015

It appears that one of the owners had fallen behind on the payments by August 2013, and filed for personal bankruptcy in December 2013. (See the "Background" section.) There also seems to have been a lack of clarity on who actually owned the place. It all sounds a bit shady, to be honest.
posted by Johnny Assay at 2:05 PM on February 16, 2015

Response by poster: Johnny Assay, thanks for linking to that legal document. Still trying to parse it (ugh legalese), but the upshot seems to be: Good thing I didn't take that job!
posted by Dr. Wu at 2:22 PM on February 16, 2015

I'm in Bozeman and honestly you've got me curious because I don't remember hearing anything about the Rialto since the big "Raise the Rialto" push that led to that 2013 reopening. Yelp says it's closed. The Bozone doesn't list any upcoming events there. This looks like the current owners so you might contact them but they're who's named in that bankruptcy thing so you might not get anywhere. It's kind of a shame.

One ray of hope from the Rialto website is a mention that they're on phase 2 of renovations, so it might be a deliberate temporary closing for that.

I'll check back in if I learn anything concrete later on.
posted by traveler_ at 2:44 PM on February 16, 2015

Response by poster: traveler_, I'd be very interested to know if you learn any further info about the theater. The website has indicated they've been in "phase 2" of renovations for some time, now.
posted by Dr. Wu at 7:50 PM on February 16, 2015

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