Play Local · Uncategorized

21 Days to Play – Raleigh Indie Theaters

Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about making time to play, at local sports facilities, live music venues, indie movie theaters and fun places and spaces all around the Triangle.


Raleigh is blessed with multiple indie movie theaters where fans can catch the latest release OR something independent, foreign and alternative at the twin theaters at The Colony in North Raleigh or at the Rialto in Five Points.

The sibling theaters each have their own distinctive personalities. The Colony Theater’s lobby is decorated with local art and a couple of funky, vintage sofas welcoming film goers to sit and chat a bit either before or after the show. Once inside the theater space itself that shag carpeted wall (circa 1970-ish?) is a scene stealer, but just until the house lights go down. In addition to first run art house films, The Colony screens film classics on select nights during the month. The “Golden Age” series shows Hollywood movies from the 1920s to 1960s on the first Wednesday of every month (Roman Holiday  is coming up in August). On the second Wednesday expect something different, perhaps bizarre, for “Cinema Overdrive”. Then third Wednesdays are “Cool Classics” films, where you’ll get the chance to relive those big screen moments from timeless favorites like The Princess Bride. The admission for these special shows is just $5.00 (and just cash, please). That affordable price means more money for beer or wine at the concession counter.

The Rialto’s charm dates back to 1942, when it was originally built. Although films are screened using modern technology systems, the theater retains its vintage ambiance lighting and large performance stage. Entertainment options are diverse at this theater too. You can see the latest foreign and independent films at the Rialto as well as a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show on select Fridays. One of my favorite film “clubs” (and the area’s longest running), Cinema Inc., holds their monthly film fest at the Rialto on the second Sunday evening of each month. If you like the classics, across a variety of genres, you should consider getting a Cinema Inc. pass. The 2014-15 season line up has been posted and you can print out the form and mail in your order now to start seeing the new season starting in September. The Five Points neighborhood has some great dining options (including Mandolin, NOFO, Lilly’s Pizza, Bloomsbury Bistro and Hayes Barton Cafe) making the dinner and a movie combo an appealing evening’s agenda. No matter your preference, The Colony and the Rialto are your ticket to indie film fun in Raleigh.


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