Rio Theatre lives on as operator says its bid for the property has been accepted

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      A beloved 80-year-old East Vancouver theatre may have been spared the wrecking ball.

      Tonight, the operator of the Rio Theatre has announced over Twitter that its bid for the property near the corner of East Broadway and Commercial Drive has been accepted "for now" by the owner.

      "We have it," the Rio stated over Twitter. "We did it. But we are so totally not done yet."

      The deadline for submitting a bid was on Tuesday (February 6). The price has not been disclosed.

      The Rio Theatre acknowledged that it still has to raise a great deal of money in a matter of weeks to close the deal.

      This will not be an easy task, according to a tweet issued at 11:47 p.m. tonight.

      On its Facebook page, the Rio Theatre posted the following message:

      "So... We did it. It's happening. We made a creative offer and it was accepted by our landlord. Now we have to make the dream reality - the clock is ticking to #SavetheRio and make this 'Muppet Show' fantasy a #Vancouver reality! More details coming soon, but it goes without saying: A huge part of the reason we won the bid is because of the massive mobilization of those of you who live, laugh, work and play on the corner of #EastVan we call home. The clock is ticking but for now, tonight - we did it."

      The Rio Theatre is on a 6,350-square-foot property.

      It has a single screen but is a venue for more than movies. It also hosts concerts, comedy shows, burlesque events, and fashion displays.

      Earlier today, Rio Theatre CEO Corinne Lea told the Straight that she and her business partner, Jonathan Kerridge, had a good meeting on Tuesday (February 6) with Leonard Schein, who holds the mortgage on the property.

      Lea said that if Schein were to accept the offer, then she and Kerridge would then need to do some serious fundraising to close the deal.

      “Our immediate plans would be that the Rio would not change and would stay as it is,” Lea told Straight reporter Carlito Pablo. “We are open to future development, like way, you know, much further away, only if it makes sense for the Rio."