Fundraiser Saved The Rio Theatre Vancouver

rio_theatre_signVancouver, BC – The Rio Theatre was scrambling to raise funds in the past few months ever since it attracted the attention of developers who wanted to buy and tear it down for new development projects, a result of recent zoning changes. The theatre’s operators decided to save The Rio Theatre from demolition by purchasing it from the current owner for CAD$7.5 million through a new company the operators formed, Rio Theatre Properties Ltd. (RTP). The plea to save the Rio caught the attention of the public, including Hollywood stars Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen, and resident Vancouverites, Neill Blomkamp and Ryan Reynolds – who said he wanted to be buried there.

The Rio Theatre is one of the last remaining indie theatres in Vancouver. Built in 1938, the building is 80 years old and in good standing, with a new roof installed five years ago and a brand new air conditioning unit installed last year. The Rio is an award winning, successful business, a live performance venue/single-screen cinema that is thriving and leading the way as a model for other independent theatres to succeed. Our business model is solid and we want to continue serving the cultural needs of the community, the only way to ensure a long term sustainable future for the theatre is to buy the property ourselves. Located at Commercial and Broadway which is a central transit station in the heart of East Vancouver, this is a unique, exciting real estate investment opportunity that is now open to the community.

Through private investments, crowdfunding, a mortgage commitment from VanCity of CAD$4.625 million, and a grant from the City of Vancouver of CAD$375,000, RTP was able to raise the funds they need. Over 140 investors signed up through their FrontFundr fundraising campaign.

“Vancouver is home to a thriving arts and culture scene, and the Rio Theatre is an important cultural venue for showcasing local artists and events. It’s inspiring to see so much community support come forward to raise money to save the Rio. I’m thrilled that Council approved a $375,000 grant to help save The Rio and keep the doors of this cultural landmark open for future generations to enjoy.” – Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson

Although their funding requirements have been meet, RTP is launching another fundraising campaign on FrontFundr to allow more investors to participate. Click here for more information. The campaign will conclude August 30th.

Related articles: Rio Press Release, Straight, FrontFundr-SaveRio (PDF).


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