East Vancouver’s Rio Theatre launches licensed film screenings
The Rio Theatre will now be able to serve alcohol at film screenings, following a lengthy battle to license the venue.
The theatre received amendments Wednesday (May 23) to its liquor licence, which will allow the venue to serve alcohol during a film or broadcast, according to owner Corinne Lea.
“I’m just happy that we can finally sit down and have an alcoholic beverage while we watch a movie,” Lea told the Straight.
“From my point of view, we’ve been watching the sports arenas having this privilege for years, so I just think that finally the film industry and independent theatres are going to benefit the same way the sporting events have through the sale of alcohol.”
The East Vancouver cinema will mark its first licensed movie screening this evening (May 24) with the hockey movie Slap Shot and comedy Strange Brew, featuring beer-loving duo Bob and Doug McKenzie. The double bill will be accompanied by the sale of craft beer, said Lea.
The licensed film screenings follow changes made by the B.C. government in April 2012 to provincial liquor regulations.
Under those changes, the Rio will now be able to serve liquor in the theatre for adults-only screenings, and in the lobby for all-ages films. The venue had already been approved for liquor service during live events such as concerts.
Lea said the venue will host a mix of live events and film screenings, including all-ages and family events without bar service.
“Our ultimate goal has always been to be a multimedia venue, so now this just really lifts the red tape that has been making it difficult for us,” she said.
The owner first initiated the liquor licence application process in November 2010.