Corinne Lea: Why won't Christy Clark put jobs first at East Vancouver's Rio Theatre?
Corinne Lea, owner of the Rio Theatre, sent out an open letter today (February 7). We've posted it here without editing.
(Editor's note: The Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival screenings originally scheduled to take place at the Rio Theatre have been moved to Denman Cinemas.)
ATTENTION: Christy Clark and Shirley Bond,
You may not be aware, while you’re busy shaking hands and talking about job creation, I’m up most nights trying to figure out how to SAVE the RIO THEATRE from going out of business because YOUR STAFF at the Liquor Control Board have BANNED MOVIES at our local Theatre.
Maybe you haven’t heard of The Rio, but it’s the only single screen theatre left in East Vancouver. We just won BEST EAST SIDE Theatre in the Courier and The Rio was voted 3rd Best Theatre in all of Vancouver in the Best of The Georgia Straight. We're VERY proud of our achievements.
YOUR Staff at the Liquor Control Board are putting me out of business. After waiting over a year they finally issued us our liquor license and now they say we can’t show movies WITHOUT alcohol. We were aware that you can't show movies WITH BAR service in BC but we did not anticipate the LCLB would strictly enforce a BAN on movies WITHOUT alcohol at our venue. The RIO is the only theatre in BC that has this condition added to it's license that says we can NOT show "MOVIES OF ANY KIND AT ANY TIME".
EVERY THEATRE IN TOWN IS ALLOWED TO SHOW MOVIES WITHOUT ALCOHOL. EVEN BARS AND RESTAURANTS CAN SHOW MOVIES.
IF YOU DO NOT ACT SOON and put an END TO THIS DISCRIMINATORY RULING, WE WILL HAVE TO CLOSE. IT’S PAYROLL TODAY and since YOUR STAFF CANCELED the VIMFF, a World Renown Film Festival, scheduled to open THIS WEEKEND, I CAN’T PAY MY STAFF. We have been FORCED TO ENDURE 17 DAYS OF CLOSURES DUE TO CANCELED FILM SCREENINGS! Our successful programming has been left in ruins. WE HAVE LOST ABOUT $40,000 in lost revenue! That’s 12% HST TAX money your government won’t receive from us. I’ve had to LAY OFF SEVERAL STAFF. OVER 30 EAST VAN JOBS WILL BE LOST PERMANENTLY IF YOU DON’T DO SOMETHING TO CORRECT THIS IMMEDIATELY.
If The Rio was a beloved Community Theatre in your riding, in POINT GREY or PRINCE GEORGE would you LET OUR DOORS CLOSE? Would YOU LET people lose their jobs OVER AN OUTDATED BUREAUCRATIC RULE THAT LACKS COMMON SENSE? WOULD YOU LET YOUR COMMUNITY LOSE ITS LAST REMAINING VIBRANT SINGLE SCREEN THEATRE AND WATCH IT TURN INTO A DARKENED EMPTY SHELL?
Shirley Bond says SHE is NOT the DECISION MAKER on this issue. She refuses to do anything to stop the LCLB from killing our business. BY HER OWN INACTION AND YOURS, YOUR GOVERNMENT is willingly allowing YOUR staff to shut down AN EASTSIDE SUCCESS. This abuse of power has to stop. Christy Clark if you won’t stop the LCLB from shutting us down then who will?
THERE IS NO PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE IF THERE IS NO ALCOHOL SERVED AT FILM SCREENINGS.
STOP THE BAN ON MOVIES AT THE RIO TODAY.
Sincerely, Corinne Lea, Owner of the Rio Theatre