Our History

Ambassador Entertainment – 3 Cinemas for your varied cinematic desires

The Rialto Theatre is the oldest theatre in Raleigh and among the few that have been in continuous operation since opening in 1942.

Rialto began as The Colony Theatre after original construction and opening as the then-largest A&P Grocery store in 1936. It had pine floors, plastic walls and a celotex ceiling before being converted into a movie house.

A 1983 renovation and refurbishment led to The Rialto Theatre as we know and love it today, with the exhibition of foreign, art, independent and alternative film programming.

Like most of the movie theatres in the US, in 2013, Rialto made the full conversion to digital cinema and presents all feature films in state of the art digital format. The oldest movie house has been described at times as an aging movie star, but the charming atmosphere and warm ambience is evident when one walks into the lobby.

The one house seats 432 people under the dome lighting that has been glowing since World War II.

Rialto wins the golden statue each time the house lights dim, as it is a time honored tradition to see a movie in this historic theatre.

 

Something I put together:

The Rialto Theatre is the oldest theatre in Raleigh and among the few that have been in continuous operation since opening in 1942. Rialto began as The Colony Theatre after original construction and opening as the then-largest A&P Grocery store in 1936. It had pine floors, plastic walls and a celotex ceiling before being converted into a movie house. A 1983 renovation and refurbishment led to The Rialto Theatre as we know and love it today, with the exhibition of foreign, art, independent and alternative film programming. Like most of the movie theatres in the US, in 2013, Rialto made the full conversion to digital cinema and presents all feature films in state of the art digital format. The oldest movie house has been described at times as an aging movie star, but the charming atmosphere and warm ambience is evident when one walks into the lobby. The one house seats 432 people under the dome lighting that has been glowing since World War II. Rialto wins the golden statue each time the house lights dim, as it is a tradition to see a movie in this historic theatre.

Something from the old site:

“The Rialto is probably the most charming theatre in the Triangle. It opened in 1942 and although recently renovated, it still retains its original beauty, with its vintage recessed lighting and performance stage. The Rialto has one large theatre with Dolby Digital sound systems that shows foreign and independent films as well as the Rocky Horror Picture Show every 1st, 3rd and 5th Fridays at midnight. If you want a classy movie going experience, this is the theatre to come to. We even serve beer and wine along with our other concessions! The Rialto has won Best in the Triangle for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. If you have a special event of meeting, want to show a movie to all your friends, or are planning a performance, consider having it at the Rialto.”

*Now – there are many things that bug me from the old website info. Take out “probably” and “still” – doubting words…. Downplay the “performance stage” and Rocky. I also don’t think anyone can list Rocky and then “classy” back to back! or, it should not be listed so close together like that. 😉 Remove the specific years for best in the triangle – dates us and it seems we haven’t won in a long time… “want to show a movie to all your friends” and “planning a performance” is opening up a HUGE can of worms…. So, if you use any of that, please take out that and re-edit.

Let me know if you have any specific questions or items you would like to list and I’ll try to look up info for you.

Your site is looking great! Thanks for your hard work!