Joliet’s Rialto Theatre gets $475,000 from city to fix roof, other repairs

Rialto to use the money for roof repairs and HVAC work

The Rialto Square Theater plans to cover the space where the old Carson’s department store awning hung with a mural.

The city of Joliet will give the Rialto Square Theatre $475,000 with some strings attached.

The city each year provides money to help fund the Rialto, and $475,000 is the same amount the theater has received in recent years.

The only difference is that the funding this year is coming in the form of a grant requiring that the money be used for capital improvements.

The City Council last week voted 9-0 to approve the voting.

The unanimous approval included a yes vote from Larry Hug, who has typically opposed Rialto funding in past years.

Hug said he approved the funding because the city designated how the money will be used.

Joliet has provided subsidy funding to support the Rialto since 1980, according to a staff memo to the council on the $475,000 grant. In previous years, the money was provided without conditions on how it would be used.

The Rialto is in the midst of a major capital improvement program ahead of its 100th anniversary in 2026.

The theater in October announced it is beginning phase one a program that includes roof work, new theater seating, an improvements in the heating and air conditioning system.

The $475,000 from Joliet will be used for the roof and heating and air conditioning upgrades, according to a staff memo on the funding.

In 2022, the Rialto received a $5 million grant from the state to support capital improvement projects.