Letter to the Editor,

Staff Writer
Alice Echo News Journal

Rialto coming down

My name is Apolonio “Polo” Enriquez and I was born and raised in Alice. I am now 77 years old (class of 1961)and live with my family in Olympia, Washington.

I am writing because I have been reading about the demolition of the Rialto Theater. The articles have brought great memories of my youth. I and two other 13 and 14 year old boys were “hired” to change the letters on the two-sided marquee every time the movie showings changed. I say “hired” because the job paid no money. But the benefits were great. Our entrance to the theater was free and we often got some popcorn and a very sugary fountain drink.

The job consisted of arriving at the theater in the late evening, going upstairs to a space near the projection room and setting out the letters for the next showing. Of course, it took two complete sets. We would carry the letters along with a long pole to the street and changed the marquee. We then took the letters we had replaced and took them upstairs and put them back in the cubby holes.

It is sad to see a grand old building that offered so much to the community come down but I suppose it was inevitable. But the memories remain.

Apolonio “Polo” Enriquez