The 26 new banners that hang high from poles along Forsyth and Luckie streets proclaim their crossing as “The Intersection of Great Theatre, Music, Art & Dance in Downtown Atlanta.” Each displays the marquees of two major arts institutions in the historic Fairlie-Poplar district that make the claim credible, the Rialto Center for the Arts and Theatrical Outfit.
The promotional campaign is the latest development in an evolving collaboration between the two long-time Atlanta performing arts presenters. Theatrical Outfit recently completed a run of the “Memphis” at the Rialto, whose spacious, 833-seat auditorium was a more suitable room for the large-cast musical.
The neighboring nonprofits are both housed in historic buildings.
A Rialto has operated on the Forsyth-Luckie corner since 1916, when the original theater opened as a vaudeville house; it was razed in 1962 and replaced by the current facility. In 1996, Georgia State University reopened the Rialto, which had fallen on hard times as a movie theater, following a $14 million fund-raising campaign.
Next door on Luckie, the Outfit operates out the former Herren’s, the first restaurant to integrate in Atlanta, in 1963.
Under the direction of Leslie Gordon, the Rialto presents a United Nations mix of contemporary dance and music along with theater and film. It opens its 2015-16 Rialto Series season with Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble on Oct. 17, followed by a farewell performance by
Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club on Oct. 24.
Led by artistic director Tom Key (celebrating his 20th anniversary this season) and managing director Lee Foster, Theatrical Outfit opens the one-man show starring Key, “R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe,” on Oct. 1 (through Oct. 25).
As part of the “Arts Intersection” initiative, the two have launched a website, artsintersection.org.