Rio Theatre

Successfully Funded!

completed of $625,000
*No closing minimum
Campaign Closed

The Rio Theatre has previously raised funds under the Start-Up Crowdfunding distribution. Such distribution occurred from May 22, 2018 to July 17, 2018. The funds raised in that period, totaling $260,000, is included in the tracker above. This new campaign began Aug 1st and runs until midnight August 30th.  

Built in 1938, located on the corner of Commercial and Broadway in East Vancouver, The Rio Theatre is a historical landmark that has become an award winning hub for independent film and live performance.

Recent zoning changes have attracted the attention of developers who want to buy The Rio and tear it down for a new development project that would leave a big cavernous hole on the corner of Commercial and Broadway for years, and there is only one way to stop them: We buy The Rio ourselves! 

We can do this! Our recent accepted offer to purchase the property, was supported by over 23,000 signatures with personal testimonials declaring their heartfelt love for the Rio Theatre, collected in just five days! 

Since then, we have worked very hard over the last six months, to make this property purchase become a reality and we're almost there!  

Through our record breaking Indiegogo Crowdfunding campaign, we raised over half a million dollars in donations. Our high profile campaign also attracted the attention of celebrities like Kevin Smith, Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen who generously offered their support to help save the Rio! 

The Vancity Credit Union has approved a $4,625,000 mortgage and The City of Vancouver has approved a $375,000 grant to the Vancouver Art House Society to help us purchase the property. Plus we have an exciting team of investors committed and on board!  We're currently looking for our final round of Investors before we complete the purchase!

The Rio Theatre is one of the last remaining indie theatres in Vancouver. Built in 1938, the building is 80 years old and in good standing, with a new roof installed five years ago and a brand new air conditioning unit installed last year. The Rio is an award winning, successful business, a live performance venue/single-screen cinema that is thriving and leading the way as a model for other independent theatres to succeed. Our business model is solid and we want to continue serving the cultural needs of the community, the only way to ensure a long term sustainable future for the theatre is to buy the property ourselves. Located at Commercial and Broadway which is a central transit station in the heart of East Vancouver, this is a unique, exciting real estate investment opportunity that is now open to the community. 

Here is the basic plan and structure to purchase the property described in plain language!

Myself, Corinne Lea, and my business partner, Jonathan Kerridge, own Shameless Lee Productions Ltd. of which I am the majority shareholder. Shameless Lee Prod operates the Rio Theatre under a lease with the current owner of the property.  Jonathan and I have incorporated a new company called Rio Theatre Properties Ltd. to purchase the property for $7.5 million (it is currently appraised at $7.9 million).  We have obtained a mortgage commitment from Vancity to fund $4.625 million of the purchase price and we are both personally guaranteeing this loan. Through this crowdfunding campaign and other fundraising activities, we're raising $3.9 million to pay the balance of the purchase price, including closing costs (approximately $300,000) plus an allowance for some working capital.  On closing of the purchase of the property, Shameless Lee Productions will sign a new long term lease with Rio Theatre Properties which will cover the cost of the mortgage, taxes and operating costs of the property.

Rio Properties will have Class A Preferred shares and Class B common shares.  Shameless Lee Productions will own the Class B common shares, which will entitle us the right to elect two out of the four board members of Rio Theatre Properties.  The Class A Preferred shares will be issued to the investors of the $3.9 million (I intend to be an investor of $500,000 worth of the Class A Preferred shares).  The Class A Preferred shareholders will be able to vote for the other two of the four board members of Rio Theatre Properties and it is intended that the board will make all significant decisions for the company. Any distribution to shareholders of Rio Theatre Properties will first be made to the Class A Preferred shareholders to repay their investment and thereafter will be split 70% to the Class A Preferred shareholders and 30% to the Class B Common shareholders. The rationale for this split is that Jonathan and I are guaranteeing the mortgage and agreeing to pay a much higher cap rate on our lease, as well as managing the investment.

The minimum investment for Class A shares is $1,000.  If you are an Accredited Investor and wish to invest $25,000 or more, you will have voting rights.  You can invest here on Front Fundr or email Corinne Lea directly (  For any investment less than $25,000 your votes will be by way of a voting trustee (made up of the members of the board of Rio Theatre Properties). If you are not an Accredited Investor your maximum investment will be $5,000 under the Crowdfunding exemption, if deemed suitable. 

Class A Preferred Shares are priced at $1,000 sold in min 25 blocks to Accredited Investors: And $1,000 min purchase for non accredited investors, under the crowdfunding exemption through FrontFundr. 

$1,000 = 1 preferred share. For a total of 3,900 shares = $3,500,000 + $400k (estimated closing costs + working capital) 

Rio Theatre Properties Ltd. will hold the lease with the current tenant Shameless Lee Productions. Ltd. As the owners of the production company that currently runs the theatre, we will continue to operate the business and service the mortgage debt. The lease will be set at a higher cap rate than the current lease in order to ensure the mortgage payments and property taxes will be covered. Also the mortgage pay down will mean longer term earnings for all shareholders.

Because this is a real estate investment we can not guarantee a fixed rate for dividends. Instead dividends will be released when they are available and preferred shareholders will get paid first before Common Share holders. Preferred shareholders hold a preferred position for payment plus they are also protected from personal liability.     

Typically, investments of this kind are required to be held for greater than 10 years, but we are reducing this time frame for investors to 3 - 5 years. Until such time though, shareholders may redeem or transfer their shares only under limited circumstances and in accord with securities law. 

We expect that there will be some plans in the future for the building whether it involves a restoration of some kind, or we could have the option to sell our air rights to a developer who wants to build around or beside us. Or perhaps later on down the road if the building needed to come down, we could work with a developer who would build our dream theatre that would ensure a long and sustainable future for the Rio. We're not completely opposed to development, we just want to become the steward for the Rio Theatre, ensuring the community needs for a multi-use cultural venue are the main priority.  

To be clear your investment is based on the speculative increased value of the property. This is not a loan, it is a real estate investment, so there won't be any annual interest payments on your investment. Given the location and the potential appeal this corner has to developers we are in a good position to control what happens to the Rio and still make some possible investment gains. 

If we do not reach our goal set on FrontFundr all funds collected will still go towards the purchase of the property, as we have other investors outside of this campaign contributing to our final goal.  All investment funds received will be held in Trust by Rio Theatre Properties Ltd. until we finalize the property purchase on the completion date. If we do not complete the deal and we do not purchase the property, all investor funds will be returned to investors.

Here is the sales agent's listing for the property to give you location details. (FYI they have the wrong theatre lobby photo in the listing!)

Yes! The Rio is no stranger to overcoming adversity, and East Van is not afraid of a fight. In 2012, with a groundswell of sustained community support, we won a very public battle with the LCLB to change the liquor laws to allow movie theatres to serve alcohol. Our victory in this public battle led to modernization of outdated liquor laws for the entire province of B.C.

In January 2013, Corinne Lea, owner operator of the Rio Theatre business, who led the battle to change the BC liquor laws, received the Diamond Jubilee Governor General's Award from the Queen. 

Buying the Rio Theatre property will give the community an opportunity to invest in their own historical cultural resource, so they can ensure it will have a long sustainable future. 

Investing in the Rio Theatre property will not only help save the Rio, but it is also a solid Vancouver real estate investment. 

This is a rare opportunity where you can invest in something that matters to you and directly affects your cultural, artistic and social life! Have I mentioned several Rio fans have met their future husband/wife at the Rio? Do not underestimate how much of a positive affect The Rio Theatre can have on improving the quality of your life! 

The Vancouver Art House Society - Investing in the Rio Theatre

A registered non-profit B.C. Society with a mandate to help save Arts and Culture spaces in Vancouver. Run by a board of industry professionals, this Society was created to ensure that funds raised by community donations will not only help save the Rio, but it will continue on as a legacy project to help other Vancouver arts and culture organizations in the future.  The Vancouver Art House Society will be one of the Class A Preferred Share holders using the donated funds from the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help purchase the property, they will become an equity shareholder of the real estate.

To be clear - The non-profit Society and the other private investors will all be shareholders of the property, however they will not be involved with the daily operations running the theatre, instead they will become the new property owners!     

The Hollywood Arts Foundation also shares our goal, to help save Arts and culture venues in Vancouver. So we have decided to join forces! Not only will we be stronger together but the other major benefit this merge can offer is a tax receipt for all donations made to the Charitable Foundation and in return The Hollywood Arts Foundation will also become a shareholder in the property just like the, The Vancouver Art House Society.   

The Hollywood Arts Foundation was created in 2016 by members of the Save the Hollywood Theatre Coalition in order to save arts and cultural venues in Vancouver. The loss of theatres, movie houses, bookstores, music institutions and other cultural businesses has accelerated in the last decade, under the pressure of real estate development. We feel that culture is an invaluable resource for a positive future in our city. It is the element through which we can better understand each other, how we can live together and make our city our home. The Hollywood Arts Foundation is dedicated to helping arts and cultural organizations and venues to thrive in Vancouver.

Saving The Rio is not only important to me – it’s important to the culture of Vancouver. The Rio is a vital hub for all the artists, indie filmmakers and live performers who make the Rio their home and share their art with a live audience. The Rio Theatre is, “an experience you can’t download”, our lives are so much richer when we share these communal experiences together. We can NOT lose this important cultural landmark!  

Plus Ryan Reynolds specifically said - he wants to be buried here! Save The Rio... Not just for the community - Save it for Ryan!   

Thank you,  Corinne Lea

"The Rio is East Van culture. Please save it" — Roy Abraham

"It’s a part of Vancouver that cannot be replaced. There’s nowhere else in the city like it." — Natalie Bruneau

"The Rio is where I go when everything else in my life has fallen apart. It's always there for you, doors open and heart even wider." — Ben Taylor

"It’s where James Franco had seen “The Room” and then he created “The Disaster Artist” adaptation and I saw “The Disaster Artist” in the Rio and it was a really good feeling." - Nick Martinez

Kevin Smith, to Global News: “It’s a shame that some of the art houses have gone the way of the dinosaur,” he said. “This is one that’s still around and still functioning. If we can do anything to bring attention and keep those doors open, that would be a positive thing.” Smith said his fondest memory of the Rio was recording an episode of his podcast there in front of a live audience. He said he is willing to perform there again to raise money and awareness. He added that he’ll do whatever else he can to save the venerable East Van theatre, even if it means “trying to literally hold the doors open with my body, my large body. If that’s how I keep the Rio open, by keeping my body in the doorway, I’ll do it.” — Kevin Smith

"It's one of my favourite theatres and has the best lineup to watch as often you can't find the Rio's screenings anywhere else." — Lucas Rojen

"The Rio is a gathering place that connects music, theatre, art and film in Vancouver. One of the only places left with independent heart and spirit. In East Vancouver, it seems to be the only venue left that maintains diverse programming. A huge community landmark! " — Andrea Chlebak

"The Rio is a fantastic and unique environment. A crucial feature of Commercial Drive and Vancouver communities, this theatre has inspired both filmmakers and viewers in ways that franchised theatres could never. Without its influence, Vancouver's cinematic legacy would not exist. Personally, this theater is my favourite thing about Vancouver, as its space allows viewers to escape the mundane and enter a welcoming and interactive space. Giving life to performances, festivals, fandoms, and independent movies, displacing this establishment would be a terrible mistake. Its influence to Vancouver can not be understated. Let the Rio live on and continue to group the ostracized and inspire creative freedom." — Brenna McCabe

"The Rio isn’t just ‘a Theatre’. It is a symbol of character and diversity in a city that seems to not value its preservation while approving all of these redevelopment plans. Every time I’ve gone to this venue, it has been for a completely unique experience: a Greenpeace documentary, a comedy show, puppeteer DJs, human DJs, costumed 80s movie viewing, the Academy Awards. In a city crying for arts venues, this one provides.” — Janine M./Canadianish

Meet the Team
Corinne Lea
Founder and CEO
Jonathan Kerridge

Rio Theatre Properties Ltd.

September 20, 2018

Next Step For Investors


Thank you for investing in the Rio Theatre Properties Ltd. Currently we are in the process of completing the final documents and paperwork. FrontFundr is still waiting for some payments to clear, working with my legal team to get all necessary closing documents sorted, and finalizing external investors. 

Once all the investors documents are complete we will have an investors meeting so everyone can meet and discuss future plans for the Rio! 

Thank you Corinne

Rio Theatre

August 28, 2018

Final Deadline

Time to get your documents signed and your investment processed! Our deadline to invest on Front Fundr is fast approaching this Thursday Aug 30th at 12 midnight!  Don't miss out on your chance to own a piece of the Rio Theatre property! 

Rio Theatre

July 13, 2018

Final Deadline


Thank you so much for investing in the Rio Theatre!  We really appreciate your help to save this iconic theatre! Just wanted to remind those of you who have initiated their investment but have not finished all the steps, you only have until July 17th at MIDNIGHT to complete the process.  That's this Tuesday! 

Also rest assured, once Front Fundr is complete, all the funds will be held in trust with our lawyer Brent Lokash until the property purchase is completed at the end of the month. If the property purchase does not complete, all investor funds will be returned to investors.

There is a final Town Hall Investor Info session, this Saturday, July 14th at 12 noon, if you have any questions come on by the Rio anytime until 1pm.    

Thank you Corinne Lea

Rio Theatre

July 09, 2018

Final Deadline coming soon!


Our Deadline to complete the purchase of the property is coming soon! We want to reassure all investors that even if we don't don't reach our 1 million dollar goal here on Front Fundr, we can still proceed with the purchase of the Rio Theatre, as we have many other sources for fundraising outside of this campaign.

Our deadline to complete the purchase with the current owner of the property is July 31st. But the last day you can invest on Front Fundr is July 17th! 

If you are in the process of making your investment, please do not delay, it is important to get all the paperwork done by the July 17th deadline, which is only a week away!

However if you are an accredited investor as described below in the Schedule "A" , then you can invest directly through our Lawyer until July 30th. 

Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions  604-723-2822

Thank you, Corinne Lea 


  1. Investing a minimum of $150,000 (only applicable to non-individuals); or

  1. Corporations, limited partnerships, trusts or estates having net assets of at least $5 million; or

  1. Individuals who have at least $1 million in financial assets (cash and securities) before taxes. (In calculating an individual's financial assets, any outstanding loans incurred to acquire those assets must be deducted.); or

  1. Individuals whose net income before taxes exceeds $200,000 (or $300,000 combined income with spouse) in each of the two most recent years and who reasonably expects to exceed that net income in the current year; or

  1. Individuals who have at least $5 million in net assets; or

  1. Friends, family and business associates of the Issuer (discuss with Issuer)


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