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The historic Rialto Theatre will reopen this summer

The Realto Theatre saying goodbye to its previous owner Bill Peebles.
Hayes Permar
The Rialto Theatre saying goodbye to its previous owner Bill Peebles.

The Rialto is Raleigh’s longest-running independent theater. The historical building will reopen with minor renovations.

The over 80-year-old Rialto Theatre was built in the 1940s. It was originally called “The Colony," but that name was changed later on by its previous owner Bill Peebles who retired last year. After Peebles’ retirement, the historical theater temporarily closed.

The Rialto was used for movies, live band concerts, church groups and comedy shows. It's now reopening under its new owner Hayes Permar.

“I think it's important as a community of citizens to recognize, hey, certain places really do have an important legacy in the city's history and should be part of its future,” Permar said. “My role right now is to help preserve a little piece of Raleigh's history and make it cool and operate it in a way that it will be sustained for generations.”

The Rialto Theatre will undergo some changes like upgrading the speaker systems and repainting the lobby. There’s no set date yet for the theater to open this summer. The theater will still be used for all types of events, but Permar said he wants to add hosting podcast shows to the venue’s offerings.

Sharryse Piggott is WUNC’s PM Reporter.
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