Exclaim!

Canadian Music Venues

Rialto Theatre

5723 Avenue du Parc, Montreal


Aesthetically inspired by the Neo-Baroque stylings of Paris’s Palais Garnier, the 1165-capacity Rialto Theatre blends old and new with its plush red and gold interior and a calendar full of edgy and modern musical acts. The grand stage at the Rialto has featured performances by Angel Olsen, Ty Segall and the Muggers, Milk & Bone, Will Butler, Panda Bear, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Colin Stetson.

Built in the 1920s, the Rialto has managed to hold onto its old-school charm amidst a sea of venues succumbing to corporate rebranding and sterilization. In a tribute to the history of the venue (which at various points was a movie palace and a steakhouse), Montreal’s Leif Vollebekk shot the video for “Twin Solitude” on the rooftop of the Rialto at sunset. As a performing arts centre, the theatre often features community and youth acts on their stage, as well as local tribute bands, flamenco performances and burlesque shows.

The theatre’s basement, the adorably-titled Piccolo Rialto, functions as a venue itself, with a capacity of 400. Past performers include Think About LifeFrog Eyes, PS I Love You, Ought, Carla Bozulich and Kai.