City Hall Scoop

South Pasadena News and Updates

After years of inactivity, the Rialto Theater is coming back to life beautifully. The owners are literally pealing back layers of paint to reveal its past.  Starting in early 2020, the owner of Rialto Theatre, Shomof Group, has been working on the repair and restoration of the exterior of the building with assistance from Escott O. Norton/Friends of the Rialto.  The Shomof Group is a real estate developer that has extensive experience in restoring many historic buildings in downtown Los Angeles.  A few of the restoration and adaptive reuse projects done by the Shomof Group in downtown Los Angeles include Spring Tower Lofts at 639 South Spring Street, the Premiere Towers at 621 South Spring Street, and Hotel Alexandria at 501 South Spring Street.

Staff is working closely with the Shomof Group and Escott O. Norton to ensure all the exterior work is consistent with a Historic Structure Report for the property prepared by Architectural Resources Group. The exterior restoration is near completion but the storefront for the retail units are still in progress.

KC Restoration collected several paint samples from the face of the building and both the blade and marquee signs. Paint samples were removed with a scalpel and taken to include a portion of the substrate to ensure that a full paint layering sequence was obtained. The result shows many layers of different paint colors over time as illustrated below.  The Shomof Group is planning to restore the building and both signs to their original colors. 

More details to come on completion of the storefront and hopefully a fully occupied retail frontage.

Joanna Hankamer
Planning and Community Development Director


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