The Rialto Square Theater, built in 1926 by the Ruben brothers, is in desperate need of repair and preservation, especially the face of the theatre, the marquee. It has been said it is currently being held together with "duct tape and baling wire".
Monies raised through this gofundme will go toward the PRESERVATION and REPAIR of the CURRENT marquee. At this point in time our goal is to raise $100,000.
The Rialto Square Theater has been the host of talent for decades. Stars big and small have graced this famous stage. Musicians, comedians, orchestras, movies, ballets, musicals, plays, demonstrations, and educational pieces have brought many memories and entertainment to generations of patrons.
A popular wedding venue, the Rialto Square Theater sets a romantic backdrop for a multitude of couples every year. From the marble walls, to the grand staircase and the famous marquee, there is no lack of magic here.
This fundraiser was created to help save not only the famous marquee, where many artists, and couples have had their names elegantly displayed in lights, but to help serve our community and preserve the "Jewel of Joliet".
Please take a moment to donate, share, and spread the word in an effort to help us contribute to the Jewel of Joliet. Without your generous donations the preservation of this historic landmark would not be possible!
This is an account created by The Rialto Belongs to the People (TRBTTP) for the purpose of raising funds to assist the Rialto Square Theatre management with the repair, renovation or replication of its historically accurate marquee and vertical blade. These funds will be used for that purpose and that purpose only.
The management of the Rialto Square Theatre revealed a donor-funded design for a new marquee on November 24, 2014. That marquee is a design that is historically inappropriate to the Rialto Square Theatre, a theater in Joliet which has National Landmark status. The proposed marquee was contracted for with Landmark Sign and the Rialto on September 24, 2014. According to General Manager Randall Green, the construction of this sign commenced on September 26, 2014. The management of the Rialto Square Theatre has incurred costs associated with that construction, and under no circumstance will the funds collected by TRBTTP
be used to pay those costs.
An artist’s rendering of the proposed marquee was revealed to the public on November 24, 2014, after which the public immediately and overwhelmingly rejected the design chosen by the Rialto management, expressing displeasure through a variety of channels, some of which included public postings on Facebook group pages, letters to the editor, public comments on published articles and by addressing both the management and the Joliet City Council in open meetings.
The very generous donor, after becoming embroiled in a controversy for a design which was not of his making, has asked that his $350,000 donation be returned. The Rialto management, apparently, has agreed that the donor's money will be refunded.
The current marquee is in need of repair or replacement. We do not know at the time of this writing how much this will cost, but there is no doubt the amount will be substantial. We do not yet have an agreement with the Rialto management that they would be willing to abandon their plan for a modern marquee and instead seek funds from the public to assist in a repair or replication of the current marquee.
In pursuit of assisting the Rialto Square Theatre board in repairing the marquee, TRBTTP has opened this account for online donations, and also a deposit-only account at BMO Harris bank. A deposit may be made by donors at any BMO Harris Bank, or by mailing a check payable to Rialto belongs to the People (Marquee) #4816009523 to a BMO Harris Bank. The funds deposited into this account will be applied, assuming the cooperation of the Rialto Theatre, to the repair and/or replication of the current marquee and any necessary repairs to the vertical blade. The funds in this account will be held in their entirety until TRBTTP has formal and written assurances from the Rialto management that they will cooperate with us in this stated goal and that they will use our funds to that end only.
TRBTTP does not rule out the possibility that a tasteful LED display can be installed that would be confined to the marquee’s current size and shape and still respect the historical integrity of our theater, if that is in the best interests of the Rialto and its staff.
The funds will also be held until an appropriate bidding procedure occurs which meets the criteria of 70 ILCS 200/) Civic Center Code, Article 280, Will County Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority, which promises to lead toward a renovation or construction contract.
In the event these assurances are not given in a timely fashion or an appropriate bidding procedure does not take place in a timely fashion, as determined by the Board members selected as representatives of TRBTTP, or in the event the Rialto proceeds with the installation of a marquee which is not a repair, renovation or replication of the current marquee, each donor will receive a refund of his or her donation in as prompt a manner as is possible. If the funds in this account exceed the amount refunded in accordance with this agreement to individual donors, the excess proceeds will be disbursed at the discretion and upon agreement of the selected Board members in a manner consistent with the goals of TRBTTP.
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