Rialto History• The Rialto was built in 1916 as a 925-seat theater, the Southeast’s largest movie house.
• The Theater’s name was the Rialto, defined as exchange or marketplace.
• At one point in its history the Rialto boasted the largest electric sign south of New York City.
• Following a successful $14 million fund-raising campaign, Georgia State University purchased and renovated
the Rialto to make it a state-of-the-art concert and performance hall.
• The Rialto Center now boasts superb acoustics after the theater’s roof was raised 12 feet.
• In March 1996, the re-opening of the 833-seat Rialto Center for the Performing Arts marked a turning point in
the revitalization of the historic Fairlie-Poplar district of downtown Atlanta.
Rental Activities• The Rialto has more than 55 different clients annually; including Paramount Pictures, Hollywood Pictures,
Home Box Office, Blackfilm.com, True Colors Theatre Company, Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, Atlanta
Film Festival, National Black Arts Festival, American Cancer Society, Atlanta Bar Association, Gandhi
Foundation, Ludacris Foundation, National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Royal Bank of Scotland,
Recreational Equipment, Inc., Turner Broadcasting System, Urban Land Institute, Susan G. Komen
Foundation, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Rialto Series• The Rialto Series presents the best of national and international jazz, world music, and dance annually.
• More than 12,000 people attend the Rialto Series each year.
• Rialto series subscribers reside in all areas of Atlanta, including Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, Viriginia-
Highlands, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Decatur, Little Five Points, as well as outside the Perimeter.
• Patrons attend the Rialto from all over the region including Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina
Georgia State University• Annual enrollment is over 27,000 students from every county in Georgia, all 50 states, and 159 countries.
• 46% are minority (28% African-American, 11% Asian-American, 3% Hispanic/Latino, 4% Other).
• Georgia State University is 2nd largest school in University System of Georgia.
• More than 200 corporations and businesses employ 25 or more Georgia State alumni.