Rialto Theatre

1620 Glenwood Avenue,
Raleigh, NC 27608

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Rialto Theatre

The Colony Theatre was opened on April 1, 1942 with Ray Bolger in “Four Jacks and a Jill”. Seating was provided for 603. It was closed by Martin Theatres in 1981. In 1983 it reopened as the Rialto Theatre. A beautiful renovated theatre which now offers rocking style seats and Dolby Digital Surround sound. The Rialto Theatre plays “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” every Friday night at midnight.

Contributed by Ryan Powers

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

raysson on July 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm

The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been a cult late show favorite since it premiere at the Rialto every Friday night since the late 1980’s…..Always shown every Friday night at midnight.

Mikeoaklandpark on March 3, 2011 at 10:59 am

I was in Raleigh this past weekend and even though I didn’t go to the theater I have to sayt it is really very nice looking from the outside.

Refuge5 on May 26, 2012 at 11:04 am

This is a beautiful theater and a great little place to see a movie with other movie lovers.

raysson on July 20, 2012 at 7:46 am

When this theatre was formerly THE COLONY…….

A lot of Roadshow Attractions played here that were Eastern North Carolina Reserved Seat Engagement Showings:

“FUNNY GIRL”–[70MM]– Played here on October 1, 1969.

“PAINT YOUR WAGON”–[70MM]-Played here on February 20,1970

“FIDDLER ON THE ROOF”-Played here on May 24,1972.

“MAN OF LA MANCHA”-Played here on June 15, 1973.

raysson on July 20, 2012 at 7:49 am

When this theatre was formerly THE COLONY…..

By the mid-1970’s this theatre became a showplace for a lot of “B” movies and blaxploitation flicks that were great crowd pleasers.

I saw Issac Hayes in TRUCK TURNER first-run in 1974.

Saw CAR WASH with Richard Pryor first-run in 1976.

raysson on July 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm

When this theatre was formerly THE COLONY at Five Points

Jim Brown-Jim Kelly and Fred Williamson in “3 THE HARD WAY” in the summer of 1974.

raysson on August 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Once the site of the former A&P grocery store in Five Points.

raysson on November 2, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Information concerning this theatre will be revised for the Cinema Treasures site. I do have the original grand opening ads from it’s April 1, 1942 opening which contains vast information with seating capacity and other features. If you need to see the ads from 1942 please feel free to contact me at

From 1942 until 1981 it was known as the COLONY Previously operated under Consolidated Theatres and later under Schneider-Merl Corporation and Martin Theatres. Martin Theatres closed the COLONY in 1981 when it was a second-run discount house.

From 1983 to the present it became the RIALTO under Harp Theatres from 1983 until 1994 when it was restored and showing independent films and foreign features. Ambassador Entertainment took over operations in 1994 under owner Bill Peebles.

The RIALTO at Five Points opened on October 7, 1983 under new management with the grand opening feature TENDER MERCIES starring Robert Duvall.

raysson on November 2, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Walt Disney’s MARY POPPINS played at the COLONY first-run as the Eastern North Carolina premiere presentation on January 22, 1965.

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