Stepping inside the Rialto Theatre last night was such an amazing experience. The historic theater built in 1917, once glorious and proud in its heyday, became the sad victim of urban decay due to LA’s post-war suburbanization. The inside suffered decades of rot, was gutted, and falling apart in disrepair. And then Urban Outfitters came to the rescue — summoned by the call of urban revitalization — and completely rehabbed the entire place from head to toe, including the now-gleaming historic marquee lit up in bright and colorful neon lighting. The grand opening of Urban Outfitters comes only a day after Swedish clothing retailer Acne Studios’ own amazing grand opening yesterday at 9th/Broadway just down the block.
Upon entering the Rialto from Broadway, walking toward the back of the store reveals a cavernous space with a soaring high wood-truss ceiling. The store, about 10,000 square feet large, is organized easily with the men’s section on the left and women’s on the right with fitting rooms on the second floor. And of course stocked with all the apparel and fashion accessories that Urban Outfitters is known for: crazy graphic tees, Herschel backpacks and wallets, Levi’s denim, Converse/Vans sneakers, etc.
In addition, in keeping with the Rialto Theatre movie theme and a nod to its grand historical past, the brick wall in the very back of the store (or theater however you look at it) is painted white, which is meant to be a movie screen where films are now projected onto.
Now that Urban Outfitters and Acne Studios have opened back-to-back, next up will be the Ace Hotel in Jan 2014.
I can’t wait.