Rialto Cinema represents the peak of the film industry in Egypt in the 1930s and 40s and is located in al-Fajjala, which in the twentieth century was a middle class, culturally vibrant and ethnically mixed district. With the collapse of the movie theater industry in the 80s, Cinema Rialto suffered, like many other cinemas, from neglect and gradual decay. Today the shell of the cinema still stands as a witness to the golden age of Egyptian cinemas and offers an opportunity to revitalize new modes of cultural production through contemporary art.
The Cultural House Rialto aims to create a non-profit stage, cinema for independent film and an art gallery that operates in a wide cultural sphere to be a gathering point for international guest artists and new Egyptian artists to engage and entertain the local community. It was conceived as a contemporary art space for the display of plastic art, theatrical and musical works, films and other projects that are interdisciplinary in nature.