(2) $50 Gift Certificates to Rialto Theatre, (1) $25 Gift Certificate to R Bar, plus a Rialto T-Shirt (men's Large lightning/vintage microphone, which can be exchanged for another size or style)
Rialto: A History
“A Bridge to the 14th Century …”
After World War I, Tucson’s economy began to transform away from a natural resources and agriculture base and toward the service economy it is today. The reason? The burgeoning tourism industry. For the first time, the city began to trade on its favorable climate. And what better era in which to do so than the Roaring Twenties?
East Congress Street, 1920
Like the Hotel Congress, its sister structure across Congress Street, the Rialto was built by the California-based firm William Curlett and Son. Like all Rialtos (and there are many extant worldwide) the name hearkens to a medieval covered bridge in Venice around which novelty shops were built, providing a de facto “entertainment district” when no such thing existed. “Rialtos” were plazas where the common man could go for fun, as “Theatres” and “Operas” were reserved for the nobility and the wealthy.
It’s worth noting that providing entertainment for the common man has been the ethos of the (Tucson) Rialto since its construction. The conventional wisdom in 1919 was that the two East Congress Street projects were foolhardy. It was pie-in-the-sky fantasy that Tucsonans would venture that far east, said no less an authority than the editorial board of the Tucson Citizen. But that assessment was proved incorrect in short order. Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams sentiment “if you build it, they will come” must have been preminisced by the Curlett firm.
Showcasing artists across all genres of music and performance, over the last 10 years the Rialto Theatre has become a Top 100 Major Club Venue worldwide, according to concert industry trade magazine Pollstar, consistently ranking among the top 55 such venues by ticket sales ( #43 in 2015), and recently named #84 in The 100 Greatest American Music Venues by Consequence of Sound. The Rialto has also consistently been named a best venue in the Tucson Weekly’s annual Best of Tucson awards, chosen by the local Tucson community.
In 2015, the Rialto Theatre Foundation purchased the theatre from the Rio Nuevo District, the downtown development authority which had owned the Theatre since 2004. This marked a huge milestone for the Foundation, solidifying the Theatre’s status as a sustainable cornerstone of the thriving downtown Tucson.
As the Theatre approaches its 100th anniversary in 2020, it now hosts 200 events and draws over 100,000 patrons annually from far and wide who enjoy a wide array of live entertainment in the Rialto’s historic setting. The Rialto Theatre Foundation, with the help of its committed members and community supporters, remains dedicated to the stewardship and preservation of the historic theatre and to continuing to offer a broad range of high-quality performing arts that are reflective of the diverse and vibrant community it serves.
Upcoming Shows - https://www.rialtotheatre.com/calendar/
Winner must pick up at our main studios during regular business hours, 220 S 4th Avenue, Tucson AZ 85701, or it can be mailed for $7.20 shipping fee.
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