Vancouver business partners Corinne Lea and Jonathan Kerridge are set today to make an offer to buy the Rio Theatre.
“All I can say is that it’s up to the theatre gods now,” Lea told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview Wednesday (February 7) in advance of the bid.
Located near the corner of East Broadway and Commercial Drive, the Rio Theatre has been put up for sale by its current owner Leonard Schein.
Lea and a group of other individuals used to own the Rio Theatre, which they sold to Schein in 2011.
Lea operates the single-screen theatre that also serves as a venue for live performances.
Lea said in the interview that she and Kerridge had a “good meeting” Tuesday (February 6) with Schein.
“We’ve been told we’re in first position so as long as our offer is something that he will accept then it looks good for us,” she said.
If Schein accepts the offer, Lea said that funds are going to be raised to complete the purchase.
“He has several offers, and that he is hoping that we’re going to match the offers that are on the table,” Lea said about Schein.
Lea declined to mention numbers.
“We’re making him an offer today,” she said.
The Rio Theatre was constructed in 1938, and Lea noted that it’s an “old building”.
She didn’t discount the likelihood that a redevelopment will happen in the future, if she and her group manage to buy the place.
“Our immediate plans would be that the Rio would not change and would stay as it is,” Lea said. “We are open to future development, like way, you know, much further away, only if it makes sense for the Rio."
Lea added: “By owning it, we would be able to control … the timing of any development that happens, and we would be able to make sure that the right facility is put in place…We’re happy to sit on the Rio for a good long time just as it is.”More