Hollywood director, Rio Theatre supporter Kevin Smith suffers heart attack

Feb 27 2018, 7:04 am

It was between two stand-up shows on the same night this past weekend that Kevin Smith started feeling “kinda nauseous.”

With his symptoms getting worse, Smith decided to cancel the second show, and head to the hospital instead.

“Turns out I had a massive heart attack,” The Clerks director later wrote on Facebook.

Smith, a Hollywood director and Vancouver Film school alumni has thrown his support behind the efforts to save The Rio Theatre, which was recently listed for sale by its owners.

He’s scheduled to perform to back-to-back benefit shows at the east Vancouver venue this month to help do so.

It’s uncertain at this point if the shows will go ahead as scheduled, or be postponed.

“We’re all happy to hear Kevin Smith has survived and is in stable condition,” said Rio Theatre Manager Corinne Lea on Monday. “It’s too soon to tell how this would affect the fundraiser at the Rio but if he needs more time for his health we would reschedule the date.”

She added that she hopes Smith will take “all the time he needs to fully recover.”

The Rio was listed in the market at the end of January, and there was talk that it could be potentially redeveloped for condos.

However, in the first week of February, the Rio’s operators announced that the landlord had accepted their offer to buy the property.

According to the theatre, the public outcry over the prospect of losing the theatre – given its significance to the city’s arts scene – contributed to the win.

The latest assessed value from BC Assessment pegs the property at $4 million, up from $3.55 million the previous year, but this does not provide an accurate view of market value.

The property is currently owned by Leonard Schein, who founded the Vancouver International Film Festival and previously owned Park Theatre on Cambie Street and the now-demolished Ridge Theatre on Arbutus Street.

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