Art Moderne architectural beauty of Cospicua's Rialto Cinema

The Rialto Cinema, 1956

The Rialto Cinema, 1956

La Gelsomina is set in one of the oldest hamlets of Malta, and surrounded by architectural beauty that spans the centuries. 

A short stroll away from our doorstep in neighbouring Cospicua - one of the Three Cities alongside Birgu and Senglea - lies the Rialto Cinema. Built in 1956 on the site of an earlier cinema that was destroyed by the bombs in World War II, the building is an incredible example of the Art Moderne architectural movement.

Designed by architect Edwin England Sant Fournier, it included Cinemascope widescreen features and a stereophonic sound system. One of the largest cinemas of the time, the Rialto could hold up to 1,100 spectators and was the go-to place of the time to catch the latest flicks.

The cinema was closed in 1988 and later acquired by the local Labour Party, which has now transformed the venue into a conference hall. Although very little remains of the original fixtures and the hall is not open to the general public, a visit to admire the external Art Moderne façade is an absolute must.

Rialto Theatre, Triq il-Pellegrinaġġ, Cospicua