Mosaic Church is now operating services every Sunday, and has a Conditional Use Permit allowing use during the week. We are working closely with the owners and Mosaic Church to make sure all work done on the Rialto is historically accurate. We are please that so far, the current tenants of the Rialto Theatre are determined to do the right things for the theatre.  Meanwhile, Friends of the Rialto is in the process of restoring the 35mm film projectors so that we can once again present movies in the Rialto! Stay tuned for new of this exciting restoration effort! For the very latest news, sign up for our mailing list, and follow us on Facebook!


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I know the rumor has been out there for a while now, and while there is still no official announcement from the church, I can confirm that Mosaic Church has signed a lease with the owners of the Rialto Theatre. I do not know specific details, I do know that they are leasing the entire building including retail spaces and the old apartments above.
I have been in communication with them since December when I gave them their first tour. At the time they expressed interest in working together in some way. We are hoping to be as involved as possible with this next stage in the Rialto’s story.
Friends of the Rialto has presented the Mosaic Church team and the Rialto’s owners with a proposal to consult with them during the restoration phase, and to help program the theatre on days and nights when the church is not using it. Our goal is to ensure the Rialto is protected and restored as accurately as possible, and eventually used for public events as much as possible.
While I admit to being sad that our plan did not receive the major financial support we had hoped for, we are VERY grateful to the donors who gave what they did. Your donations will be held for future restoration projects at the Rialto. Each and every one of you is a special Friend of the Rialto. Thank you.
We are also grateful to the Rialto Theatre’s owners for allowing us complete access to the Rialto, giving us more than a year to look for that support, present fundraising events, etc. Our primary mission as advocates for the theatre does not stop here, if anything, it is even more important to keep a vigilant eye on all things happening at the Rialto.
We look forward to continue working with the owners, and hope that a positive collaboration with Mosaic Church can be established so that together we can bring the Rialto Theatre back to life!
Thank you,
Escott O. Norton
Founder and President, Friends of the Rialto

On February 11th, 2017,  Friends of the Rialto and Friends of the Rockhaven presented a magical evening of Old Hollywood Romance….

Vintage Valentine Photos - 1 of 45

 Vintage Valentine at the Rialto  

This Valentine’s Day themed event set in “The Golden Age of Hollywood” took place at the historic Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena. It featured the Johnny Holiday Dance Orchestra, several retro style dance performances, as well as an exclusive screening of the classic Hollywood musical, Singin’ in the Rain. Costumed ushers and usherettes circulated during the party with candy, and long stem roses. This was a truly spectacular event. All proceeds benefited the nonprofit organizations Friends of the Rialto, and Friends of Rockhaven

Thanks to everyone who attended and participated! Hundreds of people came to see almost 90 local performers in 12 different acts.  Together we proved that the Rialto has the potential to once again entertain people of all ages!

Friends of the Rialto presents

“The 12 Acts of Christmas!”

Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 7:30 PM   

Rialto Theatre, 1023 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena, CA

Friends of the Rialto presented our first Annual Holiday Spectacular, a live variety show on the historic 91 year old Rialto Stage! Local arts groups and artists provided the entertainment for this family friendly show, which offered some “firsts” and surprises, including a Bollywood Dance Troupe, and Bagpipe and Drum Band, and the South Pasadena High School Drumline! All proceeds go to the non-profit Friends of the Rialto to support our efforts to restore and re-open the historic Rialto Theatre!


 Live entertainment returns to the historic Rialto stage with SHOWTUNE!

On April 2, Conundrum Theatre Company in partnership with Friends of the Rialto presented Showtune, a live  musical revue celebrating the words and music of Jerry Herman, at the historic Rialto Theatre.

Escott Norton, founder of Friends of the Rialto, welcomed the audience and described his proposal to restore and reopen the Rialto as a multi-use performing arts venue. 

Hundreds of people of all ages attended to hear the live band in the orchestra pit and eight performers singing and dancing on the Rialto stage once again!

SHOWTUNE presented a retrospective of Herman’s phenomenal career in songwriting including familiar tunes from Herman’s most popular shows including Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage Aux Folles!

The cast included: Esme Brown, Jackie Brenneman, John Scott, Katrina Veldkamp, Lauren Otte, Mark Melo, Meggan Taylor, Richard Seymour.  SHOWTUNE was directed by Bryan Snodgrass, the Musical Director and Conductor was Ryan Luévano, and Choreographer was Toni Fuller.

The Band: Piano/Asst. Music Director: Michael Griffin,  Reed: Dan Gonda,  Cello: Melody Ynn,  Bass: Evan Vine,   Drums: Jeremy Stacy

We hope that this is just the first of many productions on the Rialto Stage.  Special thanks to Conundrum Theatre Company and volunteers from both Friends of the Rialto and the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation for your help.   Thanks also to the City of South Pasadena Planning, Public Works, Fire and Police Departments, Tom Reynolds and Misplaced Priorities, the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation, The Burbank Community YMCA, Old Oak Cellars Winery, and our audience for your support!

Very Special Thanks to the Shomof Family for their continued interest in our management proposal, and for graciously allowing us access to the Rialto Theatre.