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Local News

Rialto starts yearlong movie series

Rialto Square Theatre on Friday, March 30, 2018, in Joliet, Ill.
Rialto Square Theatre on Friday, March 30, 2018, in Joliet, Ill.

The Rialto Square Theatre has extended the movie series it held during the summer last year to run yearlong in 2019.

"Reels at the Rialto" starts Jan. 17 with a showing of "The Blues Brothers," one of three movies in the series with connections to Joliet.

"We wanted to bring these movies to the people of Joliet and the surrounding area, and we wanted to connect them to the community," said Micah McDade, marketing manager for the Rialto.

In 2018, about 7,000 people came to the Rialto to see movies, McDade said.

The Rialto showed first-run movies for many decades before it closed in the late 1970s and then was reopened under public ownership as a live-performance venue. The theater has continued to show movies on special occasions.

McDade said the Rialto intentionally picked a few movies with ties to Joliet.

The opening scene of "The Blues Brothers" was filmed at the old Joliet Correctional Center on Collins Street, one of the popular culture connections to the prison that inspired the community effort to reopen it last year as a tourist and visitors destination.

Other films in the series connected to Joliet are "Rudy," which will be shown April 25 and "The Sting" to be shown Aug. 15.

"Rudy" is about a Joliet native's mission to play football for the University of Notre Dame. "The Sting," a Paul Newman and Robert Redford film primarily set in Chicago, has an opening scene in Joliet and was partially filmed in Joliet.

All movies are $5 and will be shown once a month on a Thursday.

Showtime is 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a free organ concert at 6:30 p.m.

Members of Joliet Area Theater Organ Enthusiasts provide the concerts; the group also maintains the Barton Grande Theater Pipe Organ at the Rialto. A bar and concessions will be available at the movies.

Other movies playing at the Rialto this year are:

• "Sleepless in Seattle" on Feb. 21;

• "Bohemian Rhapsody" on March 14;

• "Ferris Beuller's Day Off" on June 20;

• "Field of Dreams" on July 18;

• "Walk the Line" on Sept. 19;

• "Hocus Pocus" on Oct. 17.

Movies for November and December will be announced later as part of the Rialto's "Home for the Holidays" events.

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