Raleigh's Rialto Theatre to get new life

The Five Points is a local landmark that is being revived by a local broadcaster.

Raleigh's Rialto Theatre to get new life

The Rialto Theatre in Raleigh has a new look.

A group of investors, including local sportscaster Hayes Permar, has bought the Five Points landmark. They hope to restore it with a mixture of films and performances.

Permar confirmed to the Triangle Business Journal in a text message sent Monday evening that "we closed on The Rialto".

Bill Peebles, a local businessman who ran the Rialto Theatre for decades at this site, decided to retire and closed the theater in August. Bill Peebles decided to retire in August and shut down the theater, which was a stark reminder about the impact of the pandemic on the film industry.

According to Wake County property records, the Rialto property is valued at $1.27million.

When it closed, the Rialto was celebrating its 80th anniversary of operation. Peebles' Ambassador Entertainment used to have four theaters in Raleigh. As of August last year, the Riatlo is the only one still operating. The Colony Theater, located in north Raleigh and operating since 1989, was the first to close in 2015.

Mission Valley Cinema near N.C.State University campus closed permanently in September 2019, after more than 45 years of operation.

The Rialto wasn't the only arts house that was smashed. The Manor Theatre, located in Myers Park in Charlotte, closed its doors in 2020, after 73 years. This site is still vacant in the middle of Charlotte's most exclusive neighborhoods.