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Local News

Rialto Theatre board to vote on giving back Ed Czerkies' money

Marquee committee meets March 4

JOLIET – The Rialto Square Theatre appears ready to return Ed Czerkies’ $350,000 donation for a marquee that has yet to be built.

Meanwhile, a committee that will examine the controversy over the proposed marquee has scheduled its first meeting for March 4.

The Rialto board meets Wednesday, and the agenda includes a resolution for “repayment of donated funds.”

General manager Randy Green said Tuesday the resolution authorizes the return of the $350,000 to Czerkies, who asked for his money back after an ongoing controversy that included objections to his parents’ names going on the marquee.

Rialto officials have said the money will be returned. But Green said the board needs to approve a resolution to put the process in motion.

Production has stopped on the new marquee. But the Rialto has already spent $120,000 on the sign. Green has said $197,000 worth of work is complete.

Rialto officials will wait for a report from a new committee, created to examine the controversy and deliver a recommendation, before deciding what to do next, Green said.

That committee has scheduled meetings for March 4, March 18 and April 1, all at 5 p.m. at the University of St. Francis Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, located downtown at 16-18 W. Van Buren St., spokeswoman Kelly Rohder said Tuesday.

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