Member Spotlight: The Rialto Theatre Foundation

This article was written by LFA Marketing Intern, Alexis Andrews. The Rialto Theatre is one of the first buildings you see when driving into Downtown Tucson, and it is a beloved community landmark.

Listed as a Top 100 Major Club Venue by Pollstar, and a Best Live Music Venue in Tucson Weekly’s annual Best of Tucson awards, the Rialto Theatre serves as a significant catalyst for the thriving Downtown Tucson area. Since its first opening in 1920, the Rialto has made a lasting impact on the Tucson community.

“A lot of people don’t know that the theatre is a non-profit, so we’re working to raise awareness about how important that is, ” says Julie Ragland, Development Director of the Rialto Theatre Foundation.

The Rialto Theatre Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to preserving the historic theatre and continuing to offer a diverse range of quality performing arts that reflect the unique community of Tucson. The Rialto Theatre Foundation is now involved in bringing in nearly 300 shows annually to the downtown area, including shows at the Rialto, Fox Theatre, Centennial Hall, Club Congress, and the Tucson Convention Center. Around 150,000 people are drawn to these shows annually, including many people from outside of Tucson. These audiences have also been enjoying the many restaurants and shops of the downtown area, contributing a noticeable economic impact thanks to the Foundation.

The R Bar is only a few steps away from the theatre and is a great spot for a drink before or after a show.

The Rialto partners with several local businesses within the Tucson community as well. Members of the Rialto Theatre Foundation get discounts at local businesses and the R Bar features local beer and spirits. These partnerships allow for local businesses to flourish together.

As Julie says, “The Tucson community is really unique, and also so diverse within itself, and our patronage really embodies that… we truly offer something for everyone. And it’s always fun to see people coming out to enjoy themselves—to leave their worries behind and lose themselves in their favorite music.”