Two years after businessman Mukesh "Mike" Goyal sank $2 million into restoring the Rio Theatre at Broadway and Commercial, reopening it as Rio on Broadway, the 80-year-old single-screen cinema has changed hands again. This time, it's being run by the colourful trio of Watermelon (known for selling pot cookies at Wreck Beach); "Mango" Joe Raguero, Dollhouse Studios' operations manager; and former Havana restaurant owner and burlesque dancer "Shameless" Corinne Lea. The partners took ownership May 1 with the help of investors, including Moses Znaimer.
"I think a lot of people have these romantic notions, the Cinema Paradiso idea, in their brains," Watermelon said by phone, discussing Goyal. "He was a great guy, but he wasn't really hands-on."
Watermelon said the theatre will also become a live venue. "We want to get involved in all the festivals.”¦We're hoping to get involved with the Burlesque Festival, of course, the comedy festival [Vancouver Global ComedyFest] in the future, possibly the Jazz Festival, definitely the [Vancouver International] Film Festival."