On Monday, James Michael Keane, owner of Raleighwood Cinema and Grill, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.
Keane opened the Raleighwood in 1993, after visiting a dine-in movie theater in Florida and being inspired by the concept. The Raleighwood originally screened second-run films, later transitioning to new releases. Food, however, has always been a central element of the movie theater’s campy date-night appeal.
Times have changed, though. In a statement on the Raleighwood’s website, the owners cited the ubiquity of streaming services as a reason for the shuttering, as well as the fact that high-budget films are increasingly released directly onto streaming platforms (take, for instance, the eminently meme- and binge-able Marriage Story, which was released on Netflix last week).
“As a small family-owned and operated independent theater we can see ‘the writing on the wall’,” the Raleighwood statement read, in a post accompanied by the 1633 Rembrandt painting, Belshazzar’s Feast. “In the face of this decreased attendance, realizing time, tied and technology changes the world we live in, the business decision to close was made.”
Earlier this year, beloved Chapel Hill cinephile institution Lumina Theater closed, after nearly twenty years.
In the face of evolving consumer needs, however, other brick-and-mortar sources of competition have continued to emerge: in 2015, CinéBistro, a dine-in movie theatre, opened in Cary, and just last year, innovative cinema chain Alamo Drafthouse opened an outpost in Raleigh.
The last films scheduled to be shown at Raleighwood Cinema Grill were Last Christmas and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
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