Route 66 News

Restoration of Rialto Square Theatre begins

About 18 months ago, we passed on the news that a local group was trying to raise $5 million to renovate the historic Rialto Square Theatre of Joliet, Ill., which is saddled between lanes of Route 66 and is a stone’s throw from the Lincoln Highway.

The Joliet Herald News reports that the fundraising continues, but the group has already started the restoration.

Some projects will accent the ancient themes of the Rialto’s grandeur. Other projects are adding a digital edge to the theater’s hidden inner workings, ushering in 21st-century production technology.

David Kump strolls through the archway leading into the theater’s column-lined rotunda. The Rialto official points out rolls of new carpet that soon will line the grand staircases sweeping gracefully upward to the north and south of the archway.

However, visitors must remember that in this renovation, everything old is new again. The new carpet design — replacing a solid maroon color — is black, gold and light burgundy with a pattern that reprises the original carpet design of 1926.

There’s a lot more — including pictures — of information that the article gives. To get a sense of the work ahead, go read the whole thing.

(Hat tip: Lynn “Lulu” Bagdon)


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