If the Rio's current operators want to make a bid on the property, the deadline is Tuesday (February 6). They are reportedly unlikely to be the highest bidder, so their petition could be a useful bargaining chip. Yesterday, the Rio tweeted that it had gotten 10,300 signatures in the first 48 hours.
UPDATE (2/27, 3:45 p.m. EST): The Rio has now launched an Indiegogo campaign, with the flexible goal of raising $1.5 million. You can donate to the campaign here.
The petition notes that, while the Rio currently has an eight-year lease on the property, there would likely be pressure from a new buyer to shorten this term. And while the City of Vancouver specifies that any new building on the property must include a "movie theatre," there's no provision that it be as large as the current Rio, or that it would host live music, comedy and theatre performances.
As for Kevin Smith, he has extensive Vancouver connections, having gone to Vancouver Film School back in the day. The Clerks filmmaker suggested that he show up for Family Day (February 19) for a benefit screening and Q&A. He posted this message on Twitter:
VFS alum and Vancouver lover here, ready to assist! I've long loved the @RioTheatre and would be honored and happy to do a benefit screening/Q&A to raise loot & awareness for the @RioTheatre! Would a Family Day event be too soon? https://t.co/jvJrPd8twk— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) February 2, 2018
Other notable supporters of the #SaveTheRio campaign include Dan Mangan (who retweeted one of the theatre's messages), Said the Whale, standup comedian Jen Kirkman, the Vancouver Fringe Festival, 90210 actor Dustin Milligan, and many more. Read some of the messages below, and sign the #SaveTheRio petition here.
Save the Rio!! My favorite venue in Vancouver and it's historic damn it!! Learn. Sign. Share!!!!!! https://t.co/1NYRXc7YtL— JEN KIRKMAN (@JenKirkman) February 3, 2018
See the giant penis in this photo? Now that I have your attention...this is a photo of us playing at The Rio Theatre in Vancouver a few years ago. (And yes, Santa's arm cast a giant penis shadow behind us during the whole set which we noticed about halfway through the show and had to work extra hard to not spend the whole show laughing through songs) - ANYWAYS...this incredible theatre is in danger of being purchased by condo developers. If you have a spare 25 seconds, please follow the link in our bio and write a quick note about what this space means to you, it's importance as a cultural hub in Vancouver, etc etc. A little note can go a long way! #SaveTheRio @riotheatre (📷: @christine__mcavoy)
HEY #VANCOUVER! Please take a second to #SaveTheRio, that bad-ass historical, art-deco theatre we all know and love, and have possibly enjoyed several theatre-beers within. @RioTheatre— Dustin Milligan (@DustinWMilligan) February 2, 2018
👇🏼Sign & Share! 👇🏼https://t.co/ALiTcrHNzh