Sadly, I just learned that The Colony Theater in North Raleigh is closing this December. This personally affects me as I have worked there since 2009, and have enjoyed many, many movies there over the years starting with seeing THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN on a date back in 1988.
At one point I had read that The Colony opened in 1969 as a Jerry Lewis Theatre (the comic actor owned a chain of theatre franchises in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s) but while some say it was owned by that company, it actually began life on December 29, 1972 as the one screen Six Forks Cinema.
In the mid ‘70s a restaurant was converted into a second theater and it was re-opened as The Terrace Twin by Bill Rawls Theatres in 1977. After performing as a second run house, owned by Martin Theaters, in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, it was restored and turned into a art-house cinema named the Colony Theaters 1 & 2 by Bill Peebles under his company Ambassador Entertainment.
This information is according to commenters on the theater website cinematreasures.org, particularly one who goes by the handle rayyson, who the my few paragraphs comes close to plagiarizing I must confess.
I’m sure that many of my local readers have good memories of attending films at the Colony, whether it was a screening at one of their great series like Cool Classics, or seeing a first run independent film in limited release, or hearing one of the countless times that somebody dropped a bottle and it noisily rolled down the floor of the theater, so I wanted to ask folks to share them with Film Babble Blog.
Email your Colony memories to firstname.lastname@example.org. They don’t have to be very long or detailed, but if the story calls for that – do it up! I’ll be sharing some of my memories in a series of tribute posts. as well over the next few months leading to the theater’s final days.
I have been through a theater closing before with the Varsity Theater in Chapel Hill, where I worked from 2004-2009. Happily the Varsity re-opened at the end of that end year after an extensive remodeling by its new owners.
In the N & O piece linked to above, David Bracken wrote that “Hobby Properties, the owner of the center, is hoping that a new owner will lease the space and continue operating it as an independent theater, said Boss Poe, Hobby’s director of leasing and sales.”