Owner of Rialto Theater in Raleigh announces retirement, future of building uncertain

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Wednesday, July 27, 2022
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Is it the end of an era for a historic theater in Raleigh?

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Is it the end of an era for a historic theater in Raleigh?

The owner of the Rialto Theater on Glenwood Avenue will be retiring.

The Rialto first opened in 1942 and Bill Peebles has operated the cinema there for 32 years now.

Peebles tells us he is proud of the theater, but realizes it is now time to move on.

He says being shut down during the pandemic was hard on the independent theater and when it reopened, the crowds did not return at the same level.

Peebles plans to sell the theater and tells ABC11 he already has a few people showing interest.

"Long term I want to see the theater continue to show art and independent movies, continue to show retro product and birthday and anniversary parties for kids," he said.

Peebles did not say how much he is selling for or who the interested buyers are.

As for his retirement, he hopes to spend more time with his family and friends.