The early nineteen-thirties saw the configuration of what would, decades later, be the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, then called Emilio Castelar, the nerve centre of Valencia. The perimeter buildings of this new square were renewed, giving rise to the magnificent examples of architecture still conserved today. Among the buildings that line the square is the Rialto, on which work commenced in 1935 and which was completed in 1939.
It was the Serrano Llácer family that commissioned the Valencian architect, of Genoese ancestry, Cayetano Borso di Carminati González (Valencia, 1900-1972) to erect a building with a complex programme that included cinema theatres for 1400 people, a tearoom and restaurant.
With one eye on other similar contemporary cinemas, such as the Universum of Berlin, the Parisian Gaumont or the Barceló and Capitol in Madrid, the resulting building was defined by its creator as “markedly monumental” and was the first of this calibre in the city.