The Rio Theatre Is Turning Into a Sports Bar To Get Around COVID Restrictions

Rio Theatre

The beloved and iconic Rio Theatre in Vancouver is getting a makeover and by that we mean it’s turning into a sports bar.

The long-running movie theatre is attempting to work around provincial health orders by making a shift. Instead of showing movies on a big screen, they will be broadcasting sporting events.


Based on the COVID restrictions, bars and restaurants can operate with protocols in place. On the contrary, theatres are not allowed to play movies and are considered events, which are banned.

Rio Theatre owner, Corrine Lea, has been seeking clarification on the provincial policies for some time as to why movies could not be shown with COVID-19 protocols implemented. The theatre does have a food and liquor license, the same as any sports bar.

At any rate, this new change will allow the theatre to remain open with “the biggest screen in town.”

The Rio will be open this Saturday, January 23rd. There will be a maximum of six people per group and everyone in the group must be in the same household.

Rio Theatre Hours:

  • Open Saturdays from 11:30 AM to 9 PM
  • Open 7 days a week from 3:30 PM to 10PM on Sunday to Friday


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