Free Christmas Movies at Rialto Cinemas Cerrito!

See four holiday classics at no charge!

Good news, everyone! Rialto Cinemas Cerrito will be showing Christmas movies for FREE on the first four weekends in December. This is the perfect opportunity for some holiday fun.

The movies will be:

A Christmas Story (1983) – December 3 & 4, 10 am

Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), who spends most of his time dodging a bully (Zack Ward) and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad (Darren McGavin) but comforted by his doting mother (Melinda Dillon), Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact.

The Polar Express (2004) – December 10 & 11, 10 am

Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”; “Cast Away”) reunite for “Polar Express,” an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Elf (2003) – December 17 & 18, 10 am

Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn’t fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father. As it happens, this is Walter Hobbs (James Caan), a cynical businessman. After a DNA test proves this, Walter reluctantly attempts to start a relationship with the childlike Buddy with increasingly chaotic results. Also starring Zooey Deschanel, Jon Favreau, Peter Dinklage, Bob Newhart and Mary Steenburgen.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) – December 24, 10 am

In this live-action adaptation of the beloved children’s tale by Dr. Seuss, the reclusive green Grinch (Jim Carrey) decides to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville. Reluctantly joined by his hapless dog, Max, the Grinch comes down from his mountaintop home and sneaks into town to swipe everything holiday-related from the Whos. However, the bitter grump finds a hitch in his plans when he encounters the endearing Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen). From director Ron Howard.

Tickets will be available in December. Please see the Rialto web site, here, for more information.


Rialto Cinemas strongly recommends up-to-date vaccinations for all patrons. They also strongly recommend the use of masks in all lobby and auditorium areas. See here for details.

Save The Castro Theatre in San Francisco!

castro_resizeDear Cerrito Theater Patron:

Our friend Ky Boyd, who owns and operates Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, is asking for support to save the Castro Theater. We are forwarding his letter, here:

As the operator of two classic movie theatres in the East Bay, Rialto Cinemas understands the importance of preserving and maintaining classic movie theatres as viable venues for moviegoing. We are greatly concerned by the plans of Another Planet Entertainment to remove the seats from the Castro Theatre in San Francisco and destroy the seating rake in order to create flat floored tiers for dancing and standing. APE claims that the changes are necessary for them to profitably operate the venue for concerts and live music similar to their Fox Theatre venue in Oakland. But there are many venues around the country that present concerts and show films that have traditional sloped rakes and installed seating. Just look to the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, the Flynn in Burlington Vermont, the Chicago Theatre on State Street in Chicago, the Fabulous Fox in St. Louis, the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, the Majestic in San Antonio, the Orpheum in Los Angeles, and the Beacon in New York City. All these theatres have installed seating and successfully present first class music entertainment. Don’t let APE destroy the Castro’s ability to continue to be a film venue in addition to a concert venue.

The Castro Theatre is a national treasure, the pride of San Francisco, and a monument for the LBGTQ+ community.

Many festivals, film and others, use the Castro Theatre throughout the year. These celebrations bring thousands of people to the neighborhood where they patronize locally owned restaurants and retail shops between films throughout the day.

The Castro is the only large theater (1407 seats) left in San Francisco capable of projecting movies but there are many concert venues with flat floors (The Independent, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, The Warfield, Fillmore, Regency, etc).

I urge you to take action to let it be known how important it is to save the seats at the Castro.

Please go to Save The Castro Theatre where you can take action. There you will find a template letter (though personalizing it is better) and people you can write to. You do not have to live in San Francisco to help.

“On October 5, the Historic Preservation Commission will consider updating the Castro Theatre’s Landmark Designation and will decide whether APE’s plans for the theatre adversely impact its historic significance, in view of that updated Landmarking. On October 6, the San Francisco Planning Commission will consider amending the Planning Code to permit the sale of alcohol throughout the theatre and a “change of use” of the building from a movie theatre to a nighttime entertainment venue.”

Write now to make an impact. These meetings are only a few weeks away.

Thank you for your support!

See you at the movies!

Best regards,


A Whole Week of Classic Movies!

See six classic movies at Rialto Cinemas Cerrito

The Friends of the Cerrito Theater are sponsoring a week of classic films at Rialto Cinemas Cerrito. From September 9th through 15th, the theater will show six different movies, each one two or three times. They are:

Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Directed by John Huston

Down-and-outs Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, and Tim Holt try to make their fortunes by digging for gold in the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico, only to be outdone by their failings. Walter Huston won an Oscar for best supporting actor, and his son John won an Oscar for best direction and another for best screenplay.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre features one of the all-time classic movie quotes (if you don’t know it, you’ll have to watch to find out what it is).

Show times: Sept. 9 4:00, Sept. 11 1:00, Sept 15 7:00

Bullitt (1968)

Directed by Peter Yates

Steve McQueen plays Police Lieutenant Bullitt, who investigates the murder of a witness who was in his protection. This movie has one of the all-time great chase scenes, in which McQueen himself (a world-class race car driver) did some of the stunt driving. Bullitt also features Jacqueline Bissett, Robert Vaughn, and Robert Duvall.

Show times: Sept. 9 7:00, Sept 13 4:00

Sullivan’s Travels (1941)

Directed by Preston Sturges

Joel McCrea plays John L. Sullivan, a high-minded Hollywood director who sets out to live as a tramp to gain experience for the movie he wants to make. On the way, he meets an aspiring actress played by Veronica Lake, and he learns what people really want to see on the big screen.

Show times: Sept. 10 1:30, Sept 14 7:00

The Mummy (1932)

Directed by Kael Freund

Boris Karloff plays Imhotep, a long-dead Egyptian high priest inadvertently brought back to life by a team of archaeologists. He meets a woman whom he believes to be the reincarnation of an ancient princess, and tries to make her his immortal bride.

Show times: Sept 10 4:00, Sept 13 7:00

The Birds (1963)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) travels to the small town of Bodega Bay to see Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), whom she’s interested in, but when she arrives the birds there begin to act strangely, attacking people with seemingly no motivation. Why is this happening? Is it somehow caused by Melanie’s presence?

Show times: Sept 10 7:00, Sept 11 4:00, Sept 15 4:00

Touch of Evil (1958)

Directed by Orson Welles

In this film noir set in a Mexican border town, prosecutor Miguel Vargas (Charton Heston) investigates a murder and finds evidence that implicates corrupt Police Captain Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles). Janet Leigh, Dennis Weaver, Marlene Dietrich, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Joseph Cotten also have roles in this thriller.

Show times: Sept 11 7:00, Sept 14 4:00

How to Buy Tickets

Moviegoers are strongly advised to buy advance tickets at the box office or online, as the movie may sell out. To buy online, click on the desired show time above. All seats are $10.00. Arriving early is a good idea, in order to choose your seat and also order delicious food and wine or beer.


Rialto Cinemas Cerrito requires proof of vaccination for all attendees age 12 and up. Please read the details of the policy here, on the Rialto web site.