Help East Vancouver's Rio Theatre light up their neon sign


Built in 1938, East Vancouver’s historic Rio Theatre is turning to its fans as the season of giving gets underway with a crowdfunding campaign to help them light up their neon sign.

In 2012, the Rio made headlines when it took on the B.C. liquor board when the theatre’s liquor license for live events mandated the venue stop showing movies. The Rio won their fight, helping modernize provincial liquor laws in the process.

However, the battle was costly, Rio owner and operator Corrinne Lea explains on the theatre’s Indiegogo campaign page. Lea says:

We haven’t been able to keep up our iconic giant neon sign lit up! There are just a few remaining lit bulbs left. As a result, the glorious corner of Commercial Drive and Broadway looks dark and derelict.

The sign is in such a dire situation, Lea told News 1130, that “there are three light bulbs left in the letter ‘O.'”

The Rio is hoping to raise $15,000 by December 22 to get their neon sign shining brightly once again. The money will “restore the sign to its original glory” and pay for a conversion to eco-friendly and efficient LED lights.

If the Rio goes over the $15,000 goal, Lea says that money could definitely be used for the theatre. Since they’re doing a “fixed” goal crowdfunding campaign, if they don’t hit the $15K, the pledge money will be returned to everyone.

Featured image: The Rio Theatre via Facebook

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail:

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