It was almost exactly a year ago in Sept 2012 when we learned that Urban Outfitters was rumored to be eyeing the historic Rialto Theatre located near 8th and Broadway. Then, the exciting confirmation came in May of this year that Urban Outfitters was, indeed, taking over the entire 10,000 square foot former theater space. Recently, plywood boarding was installed in front of the Rialto signaling that construction would begin on the store sometime in the near future. And now a large blue sign announcing that Urban Outfitters will be “coming sooooon” is seen in front of the Rialto installed on the historic marquee, which will be restored and become part of the clothing shop’s own unique signage.
According to sources, Urban Outfitters will be aiming for a store opening toward the end of this year or early next year. One would assume they would prefer to open before the holidays to take advantage of the shopping wave momentum. However, I am sure much of it will depend on the condition of the Rialto Theatre structure itself, which has been badly neglected over the last several decades and will need a lot of work. But that’s exactly why it is so critically important to have such a deep-pocketed international company like Urban Outfitters decide to lease such a significant historic property, such as the Rialto, and invest the kind of money it takes to restore and maintain the building for many more generations to come.
Check out renderings of Urban Outfitters on Broadway with a restored Rialto Theatre marquee.