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Friday, February 10, 2012



February 9th, 2012

VANCOUVER – After joining the community in calling on the Liberal government to act and amend existing liquor regulations so one of Vancouver’s oldest cultural venues could stay in business, New Democrat MLA Jenny Kwan is pleased with today’s provincial announcement to improve regulations.

“Common sense has won the day as the new minister responsible for liquor and gaming, Rich Coleman, is taking action to change provincial regulations that will allow multi-media venues such as the Rio Theatre to hold live events and screen movies,” said Kwan, the MLA for Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant.

After the Rio Theatre was forced to stop screening films in late January as a result of receiving a liquor license to host live adult events, Kwan proposed the Liberals bring in an order-in-council (OIC). The OIC proposed was an amendment to the provincial regulation to allow Liquor Primary License Holders, under the Motion Picture Act, to host live events with bar service for 19+ audiences and to screen movies without bar service.
Rio Theatre owner Corinne Lea said today’s announcement is a step in the right direction but changes still need work and adjustment.

“In the entertainment industry, it is Hollywood distributors that dictate film release dates and bands who determine their tour dates, making it difficult for a single venue such as the Rio to influence these schedules,” said Lea. “Therefore, we cannot permanently specify which day of the week is designated for movie screening or live events. Maximum flexibility is required and I hope that we can work with the government to make the necessary adjustments in the coming days.”

Arts and culture critic Spencer Chandra Herbert said this is good first step for the Rio Theatre and other small businesses like it.

“The creative economy is vital for our future, and we need to work together to ensure it succeeds.”

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