The construction of a “vaudeville movie palace” in Joliet, Illinois was the undertaking of the six Rubens brothers. The Royal Theatre Company was formed to guarantee the 2 million dollar project. With the opening of the theatre on May 24, 1926, the Royal Theatre Company leased the operation of the theatre to the Great States Theatre, Inc. The property remained under the control and direction of the Rubens brothers.
C. W. and George L. Rapp founded the Chicago firm of Rapp & Rapp Architects in 1906. Following the Rialto Square Theatre project, they continued to build ornate theatres throughout the Midwest.
The Rialto Square Theatre building was another Kaiser-Ducett masterpiece. Kaiser-Ducett was also the main contractor for many of the exhibits at Chicago’s 1933 World’s Fair. In 1956, Charles 0. Kaiser, son of Oscar, and George G. Nelson took over the firm until it was sold in 1968.
The Rialto’s magnificent European architecture is the signature work of the late Eugene Romeo, a Sicilian immigrant who settled in Park Ridge, Illinois. Romeo joined the McNulty Brothers Company of Chicago, one of the largest plastering firms in the country. A sampling of buildings in the Chicago area which bear his work include the Board of Trade, Chicago Daily News Building, Soldier Field, Merchandise Mart, Blackstone Theatre, Wrigley Building and the Joliet Township High School Auditorium.