Florence Architectural and Cultural Traditions Board (FACT), the non-profit guiding body for the Rialto Theater, elected their 2021 Board of Directors at a board meeting, Friday, March 19, as a first step toward reopening the Rialto after months of shut down due to the pandemic. Jennifer Bowers will head the board in the position of president, while continuing to fill the role of acting secretary. Todd Williams was elected Vice-President, and Bethany LaLoge is the new Treasurer. Other members of the board are Larry Baker, Marc Baluch, Marci Day, Ron Hinkle, and Mike Patterson.

The Board and volunteers are currently finishing organizational tasks that will allow the opening of the theater under the current County COVID Level Blue guidelines. More information on the first event will be posted on www.historicrialtotheater.org , Rialto Theater’s Facebook page, in the Citizen, and on the marquee.

The last performance at the theater was Fools in February 2020, directed by Kathy Herrin. They had scheduled nine events on their 2020 calendar, prior to the pandemic shut-down, which represented a projected loss in ticket sales alone of $40,000. Not to mention the loss of rentals and shared revenue from other groups. This alone has caused the theater to rely on donations and fundraising to continue paying bills, and to produce any new shows.

The 2020 board worked throughout the pandemic and shut down on renovating the building, concentrating on the installation of carpeting and construction of a Green Room for actors and performers.

President Bowers said that they anticipate filling the additional seat on the board in the next three months. “Community members who have an interest in the building and what it stands for are invited to send a letter of interest, listing skills you will bring to the board, and a statement of why you are interested.” Letters of interest and inquiries can be directed to Jennifer Bowers by email at rialtotheaterinfo@gmail.com or by U.S. Mail to 209 W. Main Street, Florence, Colorado 81244.