Rialto Theater Turns 95

Rialto Square Theater Celebrates 95 Years Of Entertainment

From vaudeville, to possible demolition, the "Jewel of Joliet" shines bright.

Opened on May 24th, 1926, the Rialto Square Theater is a marvel of early Twentieth-Century theaters in America. 


Believe it or not this theater was almost demolished in 1972 and turned into a parking lot. A local resident named Dorothy Mavrich started a “Save the Rialto” campaign and helped raise enough awareness that ownership of property was turned over to the city of Joliet.  


Below are so facts about the theater:

  • Built in the Neo-Baroque style
  • seats 1,966 people
  • designed by Rapp & Rapp
  • Named to the “150 Great Places in Illinois” list by the American Institute of Architects
  • Nicked named “The Jewel of Joliet”
  • The Rubens family built and were the only previous owners of the theater
  • On the National Register of Historic Places