Pick the Flicks: Call the shots at the Rio Theatre's upcoming film event

Dec 19 2017, 10:32 am

This month, Vancouver’s beloved Rio Theatre will give fans the opportunity to choose what plays on their favourite local screen for one evening a month, extending into the summer season. The power of programming will be placed in the audience’s hands through the new WannaWatch.it movie tracking and social website. Developed by 20 Year Media in Vancouver, the web application enables users to browse through current theatre, Netflix and iTunes listings and organize movie nights with friends and family. The Rio is utilizing the voting feature of the site that allows locals to dictate what they project on their screen for this community-driven series.


“One of the biggest challenges any indie movie theatre faces is programming based on what people actually want to see on the big screen,” said Rachel Fox, programmer at Rio Theatre. “Being able to have fans of the Rio involved in the decision-making process is the best approach to programming because it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Over the next two weeks, Vancouver’s cinephile community can mull over their favourite Philip Seymour Hoffman film and place their votes on the Rio’s WannaWatch.it page. The movie with the most votes will be revealed closer to the event and the Rio will screen the people’s choice on May 26 at 7 p.m. The first hundred voters will gain free entry on May 26, and all remaining attendees will be entered in a draw for movie tickets to future WannaWatchIt nights at the Rio. The intriguing element of the Rio’s collaboration with 20 Year Media is seeing where the series will lead as a growing community on WannaWatch.it becomes more social and active on the site. 

“We’re really excited to be working with the Rio theatre to create new ways for the community to be a part of their local arts and culture scene,” said Ryan Nadel, co-founder of 20 Year Media. “A movie theatre is about more than the latest hollywood blockbuster – it’s about community and making movies social again. The Rio has always shared these values and we hope to encourage and enrich this experience through our technology platform at WannaWatch.it.”

Programming By Demand: Bridging the Gap Between Exhibitors and Audiences 

The Rio is excited to be a part of this unique, experimental project and anticipates an enthusiastic response from their supportive and vocal following. The people’s choice series will invite moviegoers to weigh in on other crowd-chosen cult classics over the summer. 20 Year Media is eager to see how independent movie theatres like the Rio can innovate their business and empower the audience through WannaWatch.it’s socially-driven technology. 

20 Year Media’s overarching goal is to encourage the responsive relationship between exhibitors and moviegoers and revive the thrill around movie nights that has been suffocated  by Hollywood blockbuster culture. They have envisioned a streamlined, accessible platform that assists independent cinemas throughout North America with the heavy, and often unpredictable, task of mapping their film schedules. By giving film-lovers and exhibitors a simple and engaging forum to archive and organize their tastes and preferences, they hope to create a more seamless and community-centred movie distribution system for all parties involved.

Curate The Rio!

WannaWatch.it Event and Voting Page: www.wannawatch.it/screenings/1

The Rio Theatre: riotheatre.ca

20 Year Media: 20yearmedia.com


About the Rio 

Built in 1938, the independently owned and operated Rio Theatre is East Vancouver’s premier multimedia venue, specializing in both cinema and live entertainment. Locals flock to the restored art-deco theatre for its diverse programming mix, which regularly features everything from late night cult classics, day-long movie and TV marathons, first-run Hollywood blockbusters and indie darlings to sci-fi themed burlesque or live comedy nights. A fully licensed bar, friendly staff and state-of-the-art digital projection with surround sound makes the Rio one of Vancouver’s most treasured hubs for film and community events.

About 20 Year Media

Based in Vancouver, 20 Year Media builds technology and web applications that connect moviegoers and exhibitors through social data and a collaborative consumption platform. The company helps movie theatres capitalize on excess inventory by aggregating consumer demand for film content and directing audiences to the most appropriate and convenient screen – beginning with their favourite theatres. 20 Year’s web application WannaWatch.it allows users to track over 12,000 movies across North American theatres, Netflix and iTunes databases. Film lovers can then connect with each other over similar preferences and easily organize their own movie nights.

Image: Jak’s View

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