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Rialto Theater address

Rialto Theater with curtains

Renovation Fund:


Operation Fund:

Hi and welcome to the Historic Rialto Theater’s website! This site was created to let you see what is going on as we renovate this beautiful, historic theater.  Please come back often and see what’s going on here and the progress that we are making due to your wonderfully generous contributions. We are anxiously looking forward to the day when all the restoration is completed and we are able to open the doors to the public for the many wonderful things that will be for your entertainment. With your continued donations, time, support, and physical help, we will make our town’s dream a reality!

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Exciting Dinner Theater Performance in the Works!

Ghost in the Political Machine Melodrama

Dinner Theater performances at the Rialto Theater, Florence, will be Aug 24 – 26 and Sep 1 – 3.  Tickets are $22 per person and may be purchased at Papa’s! Restaurant.  For tickets and venue information please call Tom Bruno at 719-271-2300 or Todd Williams at 719-269-0678.

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4th of July Wet/Dry Parade Creativity

Ken Trusty, board member, designed, engineered and drove this one-of-a-kind parade entry in the Florence 4th of July Wet/Dry Parade.  Great job Ken!!

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Photos Which Say It All!

Best is Yet to Come Marquee

Free Tours of the Rialto Theater

Rialto Rising 2017 – It makes good cents to drop your spare change in the yellow tube in front of the Rialto every weekend from Memorial Day – Labor Day! Also stop by every Saturday from 10 am – 2 pm for a FREE Rialto tour and see what the buzz is all about…private and public events are being booked; wedding and reception, concerts, melodramas, King and Queen crowning ceremonies and Spirits of the past…

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The popular Rialto T-shirt can be seen all around the country! Marty Burleson proudly wears hers at Niagara Falls. Rialto Tees are available to purchase ($10) and can be ordered by calling Todd Williams, 719-269-0678.

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“A Bad Year For Tomatoes” Wins Awards

The Cast of a Bad Year For Tomatoes

“A Bad Year for Tomatoes” wins many FCT awards at the recent annual awards ceremony, including Best Show. Thanks folks for your support of the Rialto Rising – 2017! Break a leg at the competition in Salida next week and bring home more hardware!

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Florence’s Rialto Theater Gets Certificate of Occupancy
By Sarah Matott

The Daily Record
POSTED:   05/14/2017 11:02:11 AM MDT

Certificate of Occupancy

Florence City Manager, Mike Patterson, signs a certificate of occupancy for the Rialto Theater on Friday with Ron Hinkle and other members of the Theater’s renovation board present. The Theater has been undergoing renovations for a number of years, but will now be able to host performances and other events with the certificate. (Sarah Matott/Daily Record)

FLORENCE — The Rialto Theater is still in need of many renovations, but as restoration continues, the theater board will be able to raise money easier now that the Rialto Theater officially has a certificate of occupancy.

The certificate was signed by Florence City Manager Mike Patterson Friday morning.

“It’s a great thing for our city…we will see many positive things from this,” he said.

Todd Williams, board vice president, said this will be the first time the Rialto has a certificate of occupancy.

With the certificate, the theater will now be able to host performances without having to gain a temporary certificate.

Over the past year, the board has renovated the theater’s bathrooms, installed a ceiling, constructed ramps to become ADA compliant, and brought the building up to code in a number of other areas.

Construction expenses for these projects have cost more than $84,000.

Next, the board is hoping to purchase seats and get a sound and lighting system for the theater; seats would cost about $50 to $60 a piece and good lighting and sound can cost about $150,000.

“Structurally (renovations) are pretty much done,” board president Ron Hinkle said about the Rialto Theater.

Overall, the board estimates to finish restoration they will need to raise about $380,000.

Now, with the certificate of occupancy the board says raising their goal will be easier, because of the ability to host events again.

In January, the theater hosted the Fremont Civic Theatre’s ‘A Bad Year for Tomatoes,’ where more than 900 people attended over six shows.

According to the board’s monthly newsletter, the play raised more than $9,900.

“That’s the kind of performance in here we need to complete renovation,” Hinkle said.

Williams said they have events planned to be hosted at the Rialto Theater throughout the end of the year, which include a music event, a melodrama and the king and queen crowning ceremony for this year’s Pioneer Day weekend.

Sarah Matott: 719-276-7648,

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If you would like to receive a copy of our regularly published newsletter please send our Secretary, Marty Burleson a message, email or text with your electronic address. We are trying to reduce the size of our mailing list by going electronic and hoping to increase the number of our friends who are interested in the Rialto. Marty can be reached at; (719) 431-2330 (cell) or home phone (719) 784-6903.

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Rialto Board Member Donna Murphy recently made a $1,000 donation to the Rialto Theater Renovation Project.  Donna volunteered at the Rialto for many years when Suzanne Phipps was the project manager and retains a lot of corporate knowledge about the previous renovation efforts.  When a new board was formed after the death of Suzanne in December of 2014, Donna was recruited by previous board President Dick Baker.  Donna commented, “I have type A Rialto blood in my veins and I am very excited with the direction of this new board and everything that Suzanne accomplished.” Ron Hinkle, Board President accepted the check with a smile and commented, “This is the Fremont County grass level support that’s needed to complete the renovation and open the doors permanently.”

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Larry & Beryl Baker proudly display the “Big Check” which they presented to the Rialto Theater.  The couple pledged $50,000 to the renovation effort if the Board would match the pledge by the end of 2016. The match was made and the Bakers made the final payment at the Rialto Annual Meeting and Dinner on St. Patrick’s Day.  A huge shout out to Larry and Beryl for their continued financial and in-kind support!

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New Mural at PaPa’s Pizza!

The Rialto Board of Directors at PaPa’s Pizza Restaurant after the 2016 annual meeting held on March 17, 2017.  Left to Right: Larry Baker, Ken Trusty, Todd Williams, Marty Burleson, Ron Hinkle and Steve Steele.  Not present were Donna Murphy and Nancy Fenvyes.  Note the Rialto in the lower left corner of the new painted mural and the Rialto neon sign through the west window

Next time you’re in PaPa’s Pizza Restaurant in Florence, check out the new painted mural, lower left hand corner – Rialto!  Thanks for your support Tom!


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Lights, Glorious Lights!

Rialto Lights

Rialto Lights 2

Rialto Lights 3

“I never knew I could be in love with a ceiling, but I can’t get over how beautiful it is and how wonderful it is to see the Rialto Theater being handled with such loving care!” said Tonya Tingey after attending the “A Bad Year for Tomatoes” production.

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Florence High School Grad., Tereese Filos, is showing support from her home in Tampa Bay, Florida.

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Buy your Tee Shirt today from any board member or call 719-269-0678.

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Reel Rialto Craft Brew

A Rialto fundraiser never tasted so good as a hand-crafted seasonal brew, called the Reel Rialto.
Hans Praul, owner of the Florence Brewing Company created the brew and you can find it on tap at the Brewery with a % of the proceeds going to the renovation efforts. Stop by and give it a try! Support your Rialto Theater in Florence!


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The Rialto Board Joins the City in Welcoming Everyone Associated
with the Filming of “Our Souls At Night”!

Mock Rialto Theater front for the movie “Our Souls At Night”

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Follow us on FaceBook Here!

Support the Rialto through:

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Redeem your card at City Market.  Register the Rialto for rewards program under F.A.C.T.

The Rialto Theater in the Summer

The Rialto Theater in the Summer. ~By Ron Hinkle