RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Bill Peebles has operated Raleigh’s historic Rialto Theatre for more than three decades. In a statement, Peebles said he has begun the search for a person or group that will take over the theatre in the future.

“It is time to retire. I am tired of being responsible for everything and it is time for someone else to take the theatre forward,” said Peebles.

The subject line from Peebles’ email ominously read, “The Rialto Theatre may close – maybe?”

Peebles said the Rialto’s calling is to continue to show movies and host special events.

Located in the Five Points neighborhood on Glenwood Avenue, the theater was first built in 1942. It has undergone renovations under Peeble’s ownership. It is known for screening a wide variety of movies from little known indies to Academy and Golden Globe winning films.

The Rialto remains among the last locally-owned movie theaters in the city. Unlike some unlucky theaters, it also survived the pandemic after being forced to temporarily close.