In independent filmmaking, as in any biz, loyalty can go a long way. So when director Kevin Smith heard that Vancouver’s historic Rio Theatre had been vaulted into a campaign to essentially save itself, he immediately offered his help.
Responding to a tweet from the Rio Theatre directing supporters to an online petition launched to help demonstrate the scope of community will to maintain the Rio Theatre as-is in light of new property owners, Smith offered his services up:
VFS alum and Vancouver lover here, ready to assist! I’ve long loved the @RioTheatre and would be honored and happy to do a benefit screening/Q&A to raise loot & awareness for the @RioTheatre! Would a Family Day event be too soon? https://t.co/jvJrPd8twk
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) February 2, 2018
Many film fans have echoed their support of Smith’s goodwill, and the Rio replied to the Clerks director showing their appreciation, and indicating they were interested in setting something up.
“We would be stoked and honoured to work with you, we love you […] We could do it soon – but not that soon! (Rentals) But pls dm me, let’s talk and we can make something happen?” posted Rio’s programmer Rachel Fox.
Hopefully Fox and Smith can connect to set something up. In the meantime, the petition has garnered over 6,000 signatures in less than 24 hours, though the Rio says it will take a lot more to make their case.
“We need your help fast!” reads the plea on the theatre’s website. “We need to collect as many signatures as possible to demonstrate the community’s support in saving the existing, historical, art-deco venue that we know and love.”
The property at Broadway and Commercial Drive has been on the market for the better part of a year but late last week a real estate brochure listed it for sale.
With files from the Vancouver Courier