Howland Opera House - Pontiac MI

Address: 22-24 W Pike St
City: Pontiac
State: MI
County: Oakland
Open: 1905
Capacity: 2600
Owner History: Kleist Family
Theater Type: N/A
Number of visits to this page: 18463
General Information:

AKA: Rialto Theatre - Was Butterfield House

The Howland Opera House was opened on March 25, 1905, and was reputed to be state-of-the-art with "new type slanting floors" and an 800-pound red asbestos curtain. It cost $40,000 and seated 1100. Will Rogers played there among other celebrities. In the 1920s it became the Rialto Movie Theatre, with a seating capacity of 2600. It was torn down in 1952.

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Info Updates:
8/29/2009 - Steve
I'm pretty sure this building was still standing in 1975. There was one low building between the theater and the Hancock Iron Works building at 52 W. Pike. All the windows were closed up with cement blocks, painted white, and someone had tried to run a disco there. Both the low building and the theater were owned by the same man.
9/12/2004 - J. Barnfather
The Rialto (aka Howland) had 2 wrap-around (horseshoe shaped) balconies. Many years, prior to destruction, it was used as a fur storage facility. It was adjacent to Pontiacs renowned Pike Street Restaurant.
Howland Opera House - OLD PIC
Howland Opera House - OLD PIC
Howland Opera House - 1910 FROM PAUL PETOSKEY
1910 FROM PAUL PETOSKEY © 2022 Over 58,606,109 Served