Construction began on the Rialto Theatre in downtown Pocahontas, Iowa, in early 1939, with the first movie shown September 3 of that year. The theatre operated continuously for nearly 50 years before closing in 1989. After three years sitting vacant, in May 1992, a meeting to discuss the reopening of the theatre attracted over 100 interested residents. The decision was made to to renovate and reopen the historic theatre as a multi-purpose venue for both movies and live entertainment.
After three years of renovations and repairs, the theatre reopened with great fanfare with a premiere screening of the Walt Disney movie Pocahontas on June 22, 1995. The movie brought staff and stars from Pocahontas to town for the screening and attracted media outlets from across the state. The theatre continues to operate today, with volunteers playing an integral role in the day-to-day operation. Movies are shown nightly, with a Sunday matinee; tickets are just $4.00 for adults and $2.00 for students and children.