Beloved Vancouver theatre one step closer to being saved after mortgage approval

first_imgVANCOUVER – The operators of one of Vancouver’s last independent movie theatres say they’re a step closer to saving the property from development after being approved for a mortgage to buy the beloved cinema.Corrine Lea said she’s optimistic about the Rio Theatre’s future after receiving the news from Vancity credit union earlier this week.“It’s a huge relief to be able to give everyone the good news and say that the mortgage has been approved,” she said.Zoning changes in the area attracted developers who wanted to tear down the 80-year-old east Vancouver theatre for a new project, Lea said previously.In February, she announced that the cinema’s operators had put in a multi-million-dollar offer to purchase the Rio, a venue beloved for running independent films and hosting burlesque, comedy, improv and variety shows.A months-long fundrasing campaign has already brought in more than $500,000 for a deposit on the property and garnered support from a variety of entertainers, including filmmaker Kevin Smith, actor Ryan Reynolds and Vancouver-born Finn Wolfhard, the 15-year-old star of “Stranger Things” and “It.”The exact purchase price has never been revealed, but Lea has said it’s above the property’s $4.3-million assessed value.Lea said on Saturday that she’s been working on securing the mortgage for about a month and the final approval comes just before a May 7 deadline for finalizing the sale.“Basically, I was really biting my nails in the last couple of days because if they turned us down and said no, I would have had very little time to find another option,” she said, adding that she was cautious about the cinema’s future until the mortgage was approved.“This is the closest that we’ve been to reaching our goal. And I can see the finish line. And it feels really good.”On Monday, Lea is set to remove subjects on the deal. Then she and her business partner will have 60 days to come up with the $3-million deposit.Lea said investors have vowed to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to the deposit, but the operators are still looking to raise about $800,000.A new campaign is in the works that will allow people who aren’t accredited investors to purchase shares in the theatre, she said.“This has been such a huge, amazing community team effort. So I think it’ll be such a huge opportunity,” Lea said.“We’ve all seen so many stories about another beloved Vancouver space gone, another business shut down. And so to just realize that we can make a difference and that this is a good news story, everyone was really wanting to see that happen.”last_img

first_imgVANCOUVER – The operators of one of Vancouver’s last independent movie theatres say they’re a step closer to saving the property from development after being approved for a mortgage to buy the beloved cinema.Corrine Lea said she’s optimistic about the Rio Theatre’s future after receiving the news from Vancity credit union earlier this week.“It’s a huge relief to be able to give everyone the good news and say that the mortgage has been approved,” she said.Zoning changes in the area attracted developers who wanted to tear down the 80-year-old east Vancouver theatre for a new project, Lea said previously.In February, she announced that the cinema’s operators had put in a multi-million-dollar offer to purchase the Rio, a venue beloved for running independent films and hosting burlesque, comedy, improv and variety shows.A months-long fundrasing campaign has already brought in more than $500,000 for a deposit on the property and garnered support from a variety of entertainers, including filmmaker Kevin Smith, actor Ryan Reynolds and Vancouver-born Finn Wolfhard, the 15-year-old star of “Stranger Things” and “It.”The exact purchase price has never been revealed, but Lea has said it’s above the property’s $4.3-million assessed value.Lea said on Saturday that she’s been working on securing the mortgage for about a month and the final approval comes just before a May 7 deadline for finalizing the sale.“Basically, I was really biting my nails in the last couple of days because if they turned us down and said no, I would have had very little time to find another option,” she said, adding that she was cautious about the cinema’s future until the mortgage was approved.“This is the closest that we’ve been to reaching our goal. And I can see the finish line. And it feels really good.”On Monday, Lea is set to remove subjects on the deal. Then she and her business partner will have 60 days to come up with the $3-million deposit.Lea said investors have vowed to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to the deposit, but the operators are still looking to raise about $800,000.A new campaign is in the works that will allow people who aren’t accredited investors to purchase shares in the theatre, she said.“This has been such a huge, amazing community team effort. So I think it’ll be such a huge opportunity,” Lea said.“We’ve all seen so many stories about another beloved Vancouver space gone, another business shut down. And so to just realize that we can make a difference and that this is a good news story, everyone was really wanting to see that happen.”last_img

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