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Rio Theatre saved after $375k City grant

Last Updated Jul 31, 2018 at 12:25 pm PDT

(Courtesy Google Maps)

'We're absolutely thrilled,' says Rio owner Corinne Lea

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The landmark Rio Theatre in East Vancouver has been officially saved, thanks in part to a grant from the City of Vancouver.

The City has given the Save the Rio campaign $375,000 to put toward the purchase of the building, months after the crowdfunding campaign was created.

“We’re absolutely thrilled,” says Rio owner Corinne Lea.

“We were really getting to a point in our fundraising campaign where we were starting to feel like we’d hit a bit of a wall. To get the full deposit to buy the property we needed almost $4-million, and we were 75 per cent of the way there and just kind of getting to the point of fatigue and not sure if we were going to make it. This grant means everything to us.”

She says now, with the grant, Van City bank has approved an increased mortgage.

“We’ve also applied for a federal government grant. If we get it approved it will match the City’s grant and with all of this combined, that means the Rio is saved.”

Lea says it’s incredible to have their dreams well within reach, and she says it’s all thanks to the power of the people.

“We’ve been working on this campaign for so long. That’s when you start to get emotional about this is when you see the effort every person has made from their $20 contribution to the larger contributions,” she says.

“Everybody cares so much.”

She says they’re still accepting donations to keep the mortgage down while all of the paperwork gets done.

-With files from Hana Mae Nassar