Published Jan 19, 2021Vancouver's beloved Rio Theatre is making a major move — it's becoming a full-on sports bar. Yes, a sports bar.
The Rio made the announcement tonight, and it comes as a direct response — and protest — to the BC government forcing movie theatres across the province to close due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So with the Rio being closed since November, it's now pivoting in an extreme way.
"SCREW THE ARTS — LET'S WATCH SPORTS! If you can't beat 'em — JOIN 'EM!" the Rio writes in its announcement. "Currently under the recent health order Movies are not allowed but watching SPORTS in bars is totally SAFE! Announcing the all new RIO SPORTS BAR.
"That's right! We're the SAFEST sports bar in town... With the BIGGEST SCREEN. Since we already have a Liquor Primary and Limited Food license, we are adapting in an effort to keep the doors open."
The Rio Sports Bar will open on Saturday (January 23) and will be open daily from 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (11:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Sunday). Plus, there is no cover, and minors are welcome in the balcony.
Of course, strict COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place, and no mask, no entry.
The Rio adds, "Come on down and support the Rio! Enjoy drinks, snacks, a Rio grilled cheese and a socially-distanced good time while watching the big game on the biggest screen in town. (And did we mention our state-of-the-art sound system... ?)"
Down below, you can watch a pretty sweet promo video for the Rio Sports Bar. You can also sign the Rio's ongoing petition addressed to Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry to allow the Rio to reopen. So far, the petition has earned nearly 7,000 signatures.