Rio Theatre holds 30-hour telethon to raise $1M to save the building

Supporters of the Rio are in the middle of a marathon fundraiser to help save the beloved East Vancouver Theatre. As Grace Ke reports, they are hoping to raise enough money for a down payment on the theatre, which is up for sale.

It’s down to the wire for the Rio Theatre in East Vancouver.

Staff at the theatre are in the middle of a 30-hour webcast telethon to hopefully raise a million dollars to put down a deposit and buy the building.

LISTEN: Rio Theatre holds 30-hour telethon to buy its building

The 30 hours of entertainment kicked off at 6 p.m. Sunday and will go until midnight Monday.

Director Kevin Smith, of Clerks fame, also hosted a fundraiser at the Rio Friday night.

“All it takes is one big someone with a big donation and we could reach our goal,” Rio operator Corinne Lea told Global News. “Or maybe we just inspire thousands of people to chip in and we could reach our goal. So I’m optimistic.”

The fund currently sits at about $327,000. Click here to donate.

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READ MORE: ‘Save the Rio’ campaign down to final week to finance bid for famed East Van theatre

The “Save the Rio” campaign has been underway since it was revealed earlier this year that the building was up for sale and could face possible redevelopment.

As a part of the city’s Grandview Woodland Community Plan, the entire block of East Broadway was rezoned for 10-storey residential towers.

Lea and a group of backers made a bid for the building in February, which was accepted, but they only have until next week to finance the plan.

“We have until April 7 to remove subjects, and in the real estate world that means I have to know that I can get a mortgage, and I can get all my financing organized by then,” she said.

READ MORE: East Vancouver’s Rio Theatre launches crowdfunding campaign to buy building

The campaign has drawn high-profile support from Hollywood notables like Deadpool star and Vancouver native Ryan Reynolds, who took to Twitter to offer both moral and financial support, and Smith, who pledged to “literally hold the doors open with … my large body.”

-With files from Simon Little, CKNW

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