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Local News

Rialto Square Theatre slates special meeting on VenuWorks, $600,000 loan

JOLIET – The Rialto Square Theatre board will hold a special meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday to vote on a contract with VenuWorks and take actions that could lead to a $600,000 loan from its foundation to cover old bills.

VenuWorks is now operating on a three-month agreement through March to manage the Rialto.

The new contract would provide a five-year agreement but allow the Rialto to end the agreement after three years.

"After three years, if we don't want to work with them any longer, we can walk away," said Rialto board Chairman Robert Filotto.

The city of Joliet has required at least a one-year deal with a management company before releasing the first installment of $500,000 in funding for the Rialto in 2017. The city will provide $250,000 after the VenuWorks contract is approved and the other $250,000 on July 1.

The city funding was requested to cover a projected $500,000 budget deficit in 2017.

The Rialto, meanwhile, also is trying to pay off a backlog of bills that was at $597,000 in late January.

The Rialto Square Theatre Foundation, the fundraising arm of the theater, would need to get court approval to release $600,000 from its endowment fund to pay the bills.

The board on Thursday will consider resolutions to file a court petition seeking approval of the loan and a loan agreement with the foundation not to exceed $600,000.

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