Going to the movies can be depressing. High ticket prices. Crass, commercial atmosphere. Popcorn made somewhere else, that should be used as packing material. Endless ads before the movie starts. But there are a few theatres that still do things differently.
Many cities have a locally owned and operated movie theatre. In Orlando, it's the Enzian. In Montreal, Cinema du Parc. Toronto's got a few: the Bloor, the Royal, the Rialto. Edmonton has the Princess and the Garneau. These places have character, history and individuality.
Vancouver's got the Rio. And you could help save it.
The Rio screens a mix of Hollywood blockbusters (without commercials) and offbeat films. I saw The Room there, the legendary so-awful-it's-brilliant movie, and the audience brought props, joined in the bad lines, and added lines of their own, a la Rocky Horror Picture Show. Which they also screen. Great fun.
The Rio does late night screenings. They'll premiere a new blockbuster Thursday at midnight. Staff in costume. Fridays at 11:30 they'll show a double bill. Here are a few combos for the month of June: The Outsiders and Rumble Fish. Grease (sing-along) and Grease 2. The 1989 Batman, and the campy 1966 Batman. Dazed & Confused and Slacker. The staff are in costume for these too. Audience members come in costume. The movies get introduced by employees, doing skits, awarding prizes, creating an atmosphere that what's going on is more than just a bunch of strangers sitting in a dark room at the same time watching the strip of celluloid.
They've been screening hockey games during the play-offs. Free admission. They show the Oscars. World Cup Soccer Games. Four hundred people watched Obama's inauguration, live.
They host live events. Concerts. A musical of Pink Floyd's The Wall. Performances and screenings as part of the Vancouver International Comedy Festival and the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival. They're planning on making live events more of what they do, according to a recent interview given by manager Corrine Lea.
To make the venue profitable enough to stay in business, they need to get a liquor license for live events. And they need your support to help make this happen. Please consider signing this petition and helping save something good in the cultural life of a city. And please support your local, independent cinema wherever you live.