Saying that she was “literally crying with joy,” Rio Theatre owner Corinne Lea announced the iconic East Vancouver entertainment venue was approved for a mortgage this week.
“I am so excited to announce The Rio Theatre just got approved for the mortgage!” she wrote on Facebook.
A post by the Rio also confirmed the news, but admitted there was still more work to do.
“Things are looking really good now that we have the mortgage but our work is not done,” the post read. “We still have more funds to raise from investors to buy the property. We haven’t saved the Rio yet but we’re getting there!”
On its website, The Rio said it is still working on its goal of raising the full $3 million deposit, with the balance to be raised by investors.
“We are still accepting donations at the Rio Theatre until our deadline of May 7th,” said theatre operators in a statement.
News that the building was for sale broke in late January, and since then a slew of supporters (including Kevin Smith, who played two shows, and Ryan Reynolds, who personally donated) have put forth efforts to reach their fundraising goal.
An online fundraising campaign has been in progress as well, with $387,825 raised at the time of writing.
According to a recent CBRE listing, the 50-ft-wide, 6,350 sq. ft. site has “strong assembly potential” for “high-density residential” spaces and could potentially accommodate a building up to 10 storeys in height, based on the municipal government’s 2016-approved Grandview-Woodland Community Plan.
However, the plan also asserts that the City will “consider applications for additional height, density, and relaxations on the Rio Theatre and sites directly adjacent to it, in order to support renewal and expansion of the cultural facility.”