Back to back centennials in downtown Tucson

Hotel Congress passes the centennial torch

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Over the last year, the big 100 under the Hotel Congress sign in downtown Tucson has become a popular spot for photos. But now, it's no more.

Crews took down the numbers this week, which marked Hotel Congress’ 100th anniversary last year. When it was built in 1919, Hotel Congress was considered the east side of Tucson and it’s always had a symbiotic partnership with the Rialto Theatre right across the street.

Hotel Congress timelapse

Legend has it, during prohibition, there was a tunnel that ran underneath Congress Street between the two.

Curtis McCrary, Executive Director of the Rialto Theatre says it’s only fitting the numbers were brought here.

"This is sort of a literal representation of passing the torch of the centennial celebration of these iconic east end of downtown venues that have had a similar fate and destiny since they were built in 1919 and 1920 respectively,” McCrary said.

Throughout the decades, the Rialto has seen its fair share of changes. At one time, a cinema house showing Spanish-language movies, live theatre and concerts.

McCrary says it’s always been about putting their patrons first.

"This theatre has always been more for the people. That’s what we love, embrace, and celebrate about it. and we want to carry on for as long as we can, hopefully for another 100 years and beyond,” said McCrary.

It’s perfect timing. On Saturday night, Feb. 29th, the Rialto Theatre Foundation presents the 8th Annual Fundraising Gala — “Party of the Century - A Black & White Masked Ball Celebrating 100 Years of Rialto.”

You can find out more information on the event by clicking HERE.

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