Rialto Theatre looking for donations to make renovations

Rialto Theatre looking for donations to make renovations
(Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Rialto Theatre is looking for your donations to reach a fundraising goal of $1 million for a face-lift. The organizers of the effort have already raised around $700,000, so they're looking to get the remaining $300,000 from the Tucson community.

The money raised will be used to fix and update the nearly 100-year-old Rialto Theatre. In its time since opening in 1920 the Rialto Theatre has been a variety of things, ranging from a move theater to a furniture warehouse.

After a boiler explosion in the basement in 1984, the site sat vacant for over a decade. Once it was bought in the 1990s it became a concert venue once again.

Now the Rialto Theatre Foundation is fundraising to make necessary updates. The foundation started raising money among donors and supporters of the theatre last April.

One of the changes from that early fundraising will happen very soon.

"The first phase of the campaign is to do a complete renovation and upgrade of the bathrooms and because we already have some money in the bank we're gonna go ahead and do that at the end of this spring, beginning of this summer," the Rialto Theatre Foundation's Julie Ragland said.

"I Rock the Rialto" campaign organizers are hoping to raise the full $1 million by the end of this summer. Then they plan to renovate the HVAC system and the balcony. Following that, in 2019, they plan to make one large-scale change.

"We're gonna do some renovations on the auditorium floor. We're actually gonna tier the floor. Right now, its a sloped floor. We're gonna put that into two separate tiers which will make it a lot more comfortable," Ragland said.

If you're interested in donating to the Rialto Theatre Foundation's "I Rock the Rialto" campaign click HERE.

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