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The Villages
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Villages original movie theater officially reaches end of its run

The Villages original movie theater has officially reached the end of its run.

The Rialto Theater at Spanish Springs Town Square, which has been closed for more than two years, will no longer be showing movies. 

Genesis Health Clubs, which purchased the MVP Athletic Clubs at Spanish Springs and Brownwood in May, has announced it will be moving from La Reina building at Spanish Springs to the shuttered movie theater.

The Rialto Theather in Spanish Springs will be converted to a gym
The Rialto Theater in Spanish Springs will be converted to a gym.

The Rialto Theater, which originally opened in 1998, closed for a planned renovation in December 2019. Within months, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation closing movie theaters from coast to coast. As the pandemic waned and other movie theaters eventually reopened, the Rialto Theater remained closed. Renovation had long halted at the Rialto, fueling rumors of its demise. When the Rialto’s neighbor, The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center installed a movie screen this summer and began showing indie and classic movies in the “Cinema Series,” the handwriting was on the wall.

The Barnstorm Theater at Brownwood is also closed.

The Villages has steered all movies to the Old Mill Playhouse at Lake Sumter Landing, where margaritas, tacos and Boozy Bingo are also offered. There are no movies shown on Wednesday at the Old Mill Playhouse. On Tuesdays, the Old Mill Playhouse only shows an open caption movie in the afternoon.

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