Rialto board chooses VenuWorks as new management company for historic Joliet theater

Rialto board chooses VenuWorks as new management company for historic Joliet theater

JOLIET – The board of the Rialto Square Theatre has chosen an Iowa-based firm as the new management company that will run operations at the historic theater in downtown Joliet.

The Rialto board at a special meeting Wednesday afternoon voted 6-0 to turn over management to VenuWorks.
Board member Mary Beth Gannon was not there for the vote. As the meeting was about to start, Gannon appeared ill. A friend of Gannon said she was having an asthma attack. She subsequently began coughing violently, and an ambulance came to take her to the hospital.

VenuWorks is based in Ames, Iowa, and manages 37 theaters, sports facilities, conference centers and outdoor venues. The other company in the running was Pinnacle Venue Services, based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

During its presentation to the board Monday, the VenuWorks team discussed ticket sales, bookings, food and beverage sales, acts performing at its other theaters, and even safety planning for tornadoes and other emergencies.

VenuWorks President Steve Peters said earlier this week the company would be able to increase Rialto revenues by $295,000 in the first year of management.

Food and beverage sales will be a big part of the new revenue, VenuWorks representatives said. They mentioned walking tacos, sandwiches and even soup as menu items that generate money for daylong events such as dance competitions at a theater in Burnsville, Minnesota.

Peters also presented a schedule for reducing the Rialto’s subsidy from the city, which was $600,000 this year, to $125,000 in three years, although he noted that wasn’t a guarantee.

Story from The Herald-News

Bob Okon – Bokon@shawmedia.com

August 17, 2016

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