An experience you can't download


The Rio Theatre on Broadway and Commercial, voted #1 in East Vancouver, is a multimedia venue for premier independent cinema of first-run feature films and live entertainment.

Hannah Georgas

Built in 1938 the Rio has been fully restored with a state of the art digital projector, surround sound, a huge stage for live events and 420 of the most comfortable brand new luxury seats (with adjustable arms in case you’re on a date). Winner of the Georgia Straight People’s Choice award for Best Concession. We only serve real buttered popcorn.

Commercial free Hollywood blockbusters, late night screenings of cult classics, live music and the site of film and comedy festivals. The Rio has it all! With friendly film-loving staff ready to make you feel at home.

At the Rio Cinema we cater to Sci -Fi, Fantasy, Action, Thriller, Cult and Horror movies for both adult and family rated films. No serious drama here! We encourage people to have fun & dress up & yell out or sing along. We love pop culture of all kinds and so doOld Rio the Rio fans. Fanatic Film geeks are welcome. Dress in costume at our late night screenings and win a prize!

Conveniently located steps away from the Commercial Drive/ Broadway Skytrain Station. Forget paying for parking downtown and higher ticket prices Support your local neighbourhood theatre! Tons of free parking right out front on both sides of Broadway plus right next to a major transit station. Take a trip down the Drive and visit Vancouver’s best neighbourhood theatre! So easy to get here from almost any where in Vancouver!

Aside from movies the Rio Theatre is also a first rate soft seat concert theatre for international and local live music.

Recent past highlights include:

Live entertainment:

  • International musicians: First Aid Kit, Kathleen Edwards, Colin Linden, Coco Love Alcorn, The Trews, Chad VanGaalen, and Royal Wood, The Bleachers and more
  • The Vancouver International Comedy Festival, featuring Janeane Garofalo
  • The International Burlesque Festival
  • The Live Theatre musical stage show Pink Floyd The Wall
  • Local musicians, and fashion shows



  • Cult Classics every Friday at midnight. This is your chance to see your old favorites on the big screen. The late night crowd comes for the live hosts and pre-show entertainment as well as the thrill of dressing up in a party like atmosphere.
  • “Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Animation Festival”
  • Screenings of local independent filmmakers.

Live Satellite:

  • Oscars (attended by over 400 people)
  • Grammys
  • UEFA Euro soccer
  • The Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies
  • Pangea Day: a global broadcast of short films, live music and visionary speakers
  • President Obama’s inauguration (attended by over 400 people)


Built in 1938 the entrance, main floor, lobby & auditorium of the Rio Theatre are all accessible, for all types of wheelchairs and scooters. The two main aisles between the main seating area are over 4 ft across. We removed 8 fixed seats in back left corner of the seating area creating a 7ft x 8ft area which provides several wheelchair/scooter spaces. Plus we removed 23 fixed seats in the front row to create front row access for wheelchairs/ scooters.

We also made changes to the women’s washroom to make it more accessible. The women’s washroom has one stall that has been adapted with an accessibility bar and a wider 32″ door, but at this time scooters and wheel chairs are not accessible in either bathroom because the turn radius to enter the bathrooms are too tight. The men’s washroom is very small so we were not able to install a wider door. However there is accessible washrooms available to use at Broadway Station Sushi restaurant 2 doors west of our building.

For information on accessibility at the Rio Theatre, please visit The Radical Access Mapping Project website.