CANTON — The Rialto Theater in Canton took a big risk at the beginning of April. For the first time since it came under the management of Rekindle the Spirit, it was hosting a movie opening.
The fact is the theater’s live performances such as talent shows, blues bands, and standup comedy specials had filled a lot more seats than the theater’s weekend movie showings. But theater manager Bridget Callahan was willing to take the risk, opening The Super Mario Bros. Movie and pairing it with a Nintendo Switch giveaway after partnering with several generous community members.
The result was explosive ticket sales to the movie that filled seats throughout the nation, and Callahan even held the film for two more showings thanks to the turnout.
Now the Rialto is attempting it again. May 5 marks the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and Callahan is bringing the opening to Canton.
“We had such an amazing success with The Super Mario Bros we are really excited to be able to do this with the Guardians of the Galaxy 3 movie, especially since this will be the last movie in the franchise,” Callahan said.
This opening will also be accompanied with a giveaway. Local newspaper The Canton Independent/Sentinel partnered with the Rialto this time, and they’re donating Guardians of the Galaxy FUNKO! POP figurines of the movie’s main characters. The Guardians crew has a soft spot in Callahan’s heart.
“The Guardians franchise is known for being the underdogs who far exceed everyone’s expectations and that is very similar to The Rialto. We are not just a theatre we are a place for people to make memories, have fun, laugh, and share with others,” extolled Callahan.
The Sentinel’s partnership continues a tradition of local partners investing time and effort into the Rialto, something Callahan said she can’t express enough gratitude for.
“The paper donating the POP! FUNKO set allows us to make this more like an event and not just a movie,” she said
Those hoping to win one of the figurines should attend a showing dressed as a Marvel character in order to enter the drawing, and may see themselves featured on the Rialto’s social media pages. Opening night is May 7 at 7 p.m., with other showtimes on the rialto’s website cantonrialto.org or on Fandango.