RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s been a favorite in Raleigh since the 1940s, but change is on the way for the historic Rialto Theatre.

The theatre on Glenwood Avenue feels a little bit like home to Jenny Skinner — she’s been coming here for 50 years.

“I moved here in 1972 and bought a house in Hayes Barton, and we would just walk down to the theater night after night,” she recalled.

She’s still a regular, along with friend Margaret Steed.

“It makes you feel so comfortable,” Steed said.

“It’s just like an old-fashioned theater — I love it,” added Skinner.

That’s exactly what owner Bill Peebles was going for, preserving the historic feel of the theater that started showing movies in 1942.

“I’ve done the theater the way I think it ought to be,” he explained. “Worked with architects and designers through the years to make sure the color scheme and the carpets were correct.”

Peebles took over in 1989 and eventually gave up his job in hardware and software design.

“I took a huge cut in salary, lost all my fringe benefits, and I was like, ‘Bill what have you done?’ As it turned out it was the best decision I ever made,” he said.

The theater is full of memories. It has hosted everything from award-winning movies to elementary school talent shows. And while Peebles treasures those memories, he says it’s time to retire and he’s talking with different groups interested in taking over.

“I am being very discerning about who is going to come in — who is going to take it forward,” he said.

Still, he knows it will be tough to close the curtain on this part of his life.

“Is it tomorrow, the day after, a month from now, or six months from now, I don’t know, but we’re getting darn close,” he said.

Whenever the theater changes hands, Skinner and Steed have a message for any potential new owner: “Keep it the same.”