Ponijao of Namibia in 'Babies'

The Rialto Cinemas of Santa Rosa got a lot of press last March, when it was announced the fine art and independent film house was losing its lease Aug. 31.

That deadline still holds, and proprietor Ky Boyd said he has no announcement yet on a new venue, but in the meantime, the Rialto continues to runs some very good movies.

I’d like to mention three I’ve seen recently, all still running this week:

— “Babies,” a hard-to-describe documentary that sounds like a bad home video at first. With no narration, the film simply shows smartly edited candid footage of four babies from around the world, in Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco and  Tokyo.  Scenes are loosely grouped around such themes as food, play or learning to walk, but you are left to draw your own conclusions about child-rearing in these very different cultures. You’ll be surprised how entertaining, and even exciting, this film is.

— In “Letters to Juliet,” Vanessa Redgrave demonstrates that love in later life can be more romantic than the juvenile love stories we see so often. There are young lovers, too, and this film fits all the requirements of traditional romantic comedy, but there is a bit of international sophistication added, not to mention beautiful Italian vineyard scenery.

— “Princess Kaiulani,” an unusually accurate historical drama with a stately, dignified  pace and lavish visual detail, revisits the neglected story of Hawaiian royalty at the time of the American annexation. We already know who wins, but the glimpse into another culture is fascinating.

So, don’t forget that the Rialto is still open for business. 551 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa. 525-4840, rialtocinemas.com.