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My Last Night At The Rialto

Last night was my final shift working at the Rialto Theatre in Raleigh.

A little back story: I first started working at the Colony Theater, owned by Ambassador Entertainment, in late 2009. I had previously worked at the Varsity Theater in Chapel Hill throughout most of the 2000’s, but quit when I got married and moved to Raleigh earlier that year.

It must also be noted that the Varsity was closing down then, which I wrote about in this blog post: My Last Night At The Varsity Theater & THE HANGOVER (June 4, 2009).

The Varsity later re-opened later that year which I also blogged about: The Historic Varsity Theater In Chapel Hill NC Is Reopening! (October 26, 2009) and Visiting The New Varsity Theater On The Verge Of Its Reopening (November 23, 2009).


So I began working at the Colony Theater in December, 2009, and also started working at their sister theater, the Rialto, shortly after. Sometimes I worked at both theaters on the same day; many Fridays I worked matinees at the Colony, then went to work the evening shift at the Rialto.


Sadly, the Colony closed in late 2015. The empty space and blank marquee still remains.


After that, I continued to work at the Rialto, but am leaving now to pursue other opportunities (more on those in future blog posts). I will miss the Rialto greatly as I’ve worked with great people there, and seen many great movies via their first run roster of indies, foreign films, documentaries, and the revival series Monday at the Movies and Cinema Inc.


This last summer has been a great one for the theater as they’ve shown three superlative docs: RBG (about iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg), WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (about iconic children’s TV show host Fred Rogers), THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS (read my review here), and Spike Lee’s excellent BLACKKKLANSMAN (read my review here).



BLACKKKLANSMAN is the movie that was playing on my last night at the 76-year old movie palace, so I highly appreciated that my final shift was in service of a great film (my last movie at the Varsity nearly a decade ago – THE HANGOVER – wasn’t so great a film to leave on).


Heres a pic of the audience waiting to see Lees latest on my last night:

I’ll still visit the Rialto and my friends there, and I’ll still post pictures of its great marquee on this blog. It’s such a grand venue; a real historic part of Raleigh that I hope will be around a long time.


In weeks to come, I’ll update you dear readers (I’m betting there’s more than one of you) with my new adventures and continue spreading Film Babble Blog goodness as I’m still going to be involved heavily with the world of movies.


Farewell Rialto! Thanks so much for all the movie memories!

More later…

My Last Night At The Rialto

Last night was my final shift working at the Rialto Theatre in Raleigh.

A little back story: I first started working at the Colony Theater, owned by Ambassador Entertainment, in late 2009. I had previously worked at the Varsity Theater in Chapel Hill throughout most of the 2000’s, but quit when I got married and moved to Raleigh earlier that year.

It must also be noted that the Varsity was closing down then, which I wrote about in this blog post: My Last Night At The Varsity Theater & THE HANGOVER (June 4, 2009).

The Varsity later re-opened later that year which I also blogged about: The Historic Varsity Theater In Chapel Hill NC Is Reopening! (October 26, 2009) and Visiting The New Varsity Theater On The Verge Of Its Reopening (November 23, 2009).


So I began working at the Colony Theater in December, 2009, and also started working at their sister theater, the Rialto, shortly after. Sometimes I worked at both theaters on the same day; many Fridays I worked matinees at the Colony, then went to work the evening shift at the Rialto.


Sadly, the Colony closed in late 2015. The empty space and blank marquee still remains.


After that, I continued to work at the Rialto, but am leaving now to pursue other opportunities (more on those in future blog posts). I will miss the Rialto greatly as I’ve worked with great people there, and seen many great movies via their first run roster of indies, foreign films, documentaries, and the revival series Monday at the Movies and Cinema Inc.


This last summer has been a great one for the theater as they’ve shown three superlative docs: RBG (about iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg), WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (about iconic children’s TV show host Fred Rogers), THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS (read my review here), and Spike Lee’s excellent BLACKKKLANSMAN (read my review here).



BLACKKKLANSMAN is the movie that was playing on my last night at the 76-year old movie palace, so I highly appreciated that my final shift was in service of a great film (my last movie at the Varsity nearly a decade ago – THE HANGOVER – wasn’t so great a film to leave on).


Heres a pic of the audience waiting to see Lees latest on my last night:

I’ll still visit the Rialto and my friends there, and I’ll still post pictures of its great marquee on this blog. It’s such a grand venue; a real historic part of Raleigh that I hope will be around a long time.


In weeks to come, I’ll update you dear readers (I’m betting there’s more than one of you) with my new adventures and continue spreading Film Babble Blog goodness as I’m still going to be involved heavily with the world of movies.


Farewell Rialto! Thanks so much for all the movie memories!

More later…

A Call Out For Recollections Of The Colony Theater

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 boopbloop7@gmail.com. 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.” 


That would sure be great if it could remain a theater space, but for now let’s pay tribute to the grand old twin cinema with some favorite recollections. Here’s hoping to hear from you.


Oh, and in the meantime – patronize the Colony! Here’s their website with their schedule. Now playing there are a couple of fine films: SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE and PAWN SACRIFICE

Great stuff is coming up like Cinema Overdrive’s presentation of THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE on Oct 14th, Cool Classics October selection THE SHINING on Oct 21st, and the final HARRY POTTER movie, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2 on Oct 25th.


More later…