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Town Pump Grant to help restore Rialto Theater in Deer Lodge

There's more money on the way to help with the rebuilding of the historic Rialto Theatre in Deer Lodge. Several foundation grants in recent weeks, along with continuing donations and memorials, have helped to move the restoration of the fire-damaged theater move closer to completion.

The largest was a $50,000 grant from the Town Pump Charitable Foundation in Butte, that will provide the $42,548 match for the Community Transportation Enhancement grant through the City of Deer Lodge that is covering the work on the Rialto fa├žade according to a press release.

The work will include cleaning and repairing the brick, terra cotta, and granite surfaces, replacing the oval and office windows and the front doors, and repairing the marquee and other features on the front of the building. The rest of the Town Pump grant will help with tile in the entry area and work on the ticket booth.

"This is a critical point for the project, and we are very grateful to the Town Pump Foundation for stepping up to help so generously" Rialto President Steve Owens said.

The Gallagher Western Montana Foundation in Missoula, which had already donated $35,000 gave another $10,000 for the effort and the Jane S. Heman Foundation, also in Missoula, gave a second $10,000 contribution.

Meanwhile, Goody Two Shoes, a small Florida foundation that gave $5,000 early in the rebuilding, provided another $2,500 for this final push and the Jerry Metcalf Foundation in Helena provided $4,500 toward the elevator to the balcony and second level that will make the entire facility accessible.

The fire at the Rialto started November 4, 2006, and the board and volunteers have been working since then to raise the funds to rebuild. The cost of reconstruction is estimated at $3.44 million, trimmed from the original $4.5 million, and volunteers have raised over $3.1 million so far.

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