RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Rialto theater is temporarily closing its doors later this month and will focus on art and independent films when it reopens, its retiring owner says.
Bill Peebles posted on Facebook that the historic theater will suspend operations due to his retirement and current market conditions.
He says there is “a hole in available product that is now hitting cinemas nationwide” after movie production slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peebles says Raleigh’s oldest theater will wind things down — for now — by showing the Rocky Horror Picture Show three times on Aug. 26.
“It is appropriate that the last scene in ROCKY is in an old theater and will be Rialto’s last movie for a while,” Peebles wrote.
The theater will host a laser show on Aug. 27.
The final marquee change for the time being will happen the following day when Peebles says it will read “don’t panic” — a nod to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
He says the Rialto will resume operations “in the near future” and will specialize in art, independent and special events, but specifics are not being released yet.
Peebles said last month that he was retiring.