Vancouver's Rio Theatre Operators Succeed in Bid to Buy Building
"We did it. But we are so totally not done yet!"
The endangered East Van venue confirmed the news via Twitter late Wednesday (February 8), announcing that its offer has been accepted "for now."
#SaveTheRio #WeDidIt Our offer was accepted - for now. We have it. We did it. But we are so totally not done yet! Part of the reason we got where we are now is because of the #EastVan #Vancouver #CDNfilm love. But hey man - the show must go on and we are not done. pic.twitter.com/3l5NV8APka— Rio Theatre (@RioTheatre) February 8, 2018
Our landlord has been a long-time ally of ours & of the arts in #Vancouver. We deeply appreciate that our offer was taken seriously & accepted. But we have a ways to go. (The equivalent of a small island nation's GDP - deets coming soon #Vancouver #realestate) #savethrio pic.twitter.com/YFEK2o9wjq— Rio Theatre (@RioTheatre) February 8, 2018
Owner Corinne Lea declined to reveal exactly how much she and her business partner bid on the building, though she did tell the Canadian Press that they went in with an offer above the $4 million appraisal. She also said that they now have 60 days to raise the funds needed to make the purchase.
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 future of the independent cinema and community arts hub — known for hosting everything from live music to burlesque shows to comedy to improve to monthly screenings of The Room — was recently put at risk when the property went up for sale last month.
Lea, however, launched the #SaveTheRio campaign to raise enough funds to purchase the building and save the iconic venue. It garnered support from local bands, as well as international celebrities like Kevin Smith, Jen Kirkman and Neill Blomkamp.
Smith offered to host a benefit screening to help raise funds, pitching a Family Day weekend event. Lea said her team had spoken to Smith and were open to hosting the screening if their offer on the building was accepted, though details have not been officially confirmed just yet.
Since the initial #SaveTheRio campaign launched earlier this week, thousands of people have lent their support for the cause on social media.
See some reactions from famous and local fans of the venue below.
Everyone please consider signing this https://t.co/3iwWeeN89i— Finn Wolfhard (@FinnSkata) February 2, 2018
This is great news!!— Ivan Decker (@ivandecker) February 8, 2018
Hell yes. I'm visiting when I am back home.— Avan Jogia (@AvanJogia) February 8, 2018
Don't do this, please @CityofVancouver? Really, you need to leave SOMETHING for the people who love and live in this city. Not just the developers and investors buying our home out from under us #SaveTheRio https://t.co/HI5V3YTpQf— 🌈 Miss Anne Thropic 🌟 (@squilax_mcg) February 1, 2018