Ryan Reynolds is the latest celebrity to lend his star power to help save a Vancouver institution, and he may even be involved in a potential fundraiser to help rescue the historic Rio Theatre from a date with the wrecking ball.
This week, Reynolds recorded a video message that was played during a double-feature at the Rio of “Deadpool” and “Deadpool 2”.
In the video the actor addressed his “fellow Vancouverites” and added, “f***, I wish I could be there.”
“I’m so grateful to you guys for not only being here tonight watching these movies, but for standing up for what is right, something that is amazing, something that is just, which is the Rio Theatre,” Reynolds continued. “It’s a landmark, it’s an institution in Vancouver and I know how fleeting institutions like that are, and landmarks are like that in Vancouver because Vancouver is a city that tends to grow, because Vancouver is f***ing awesome.”
Taking to Twitter on in March, the “Deadpool” star tweeted a link to the #SaveTheRio crowdfunding page on IndieGogo, praising the venerable theatre as “legendary” and joking, “Spoiler Alert: I plan to be buried there.”
He also made a donation, and sent a DM to one of the rescue effort’s organizers, which received an enthusiastic response.
Corinne Lea (one of the operators of the theatre) and her business partner made an offer to purchase the theatre, which is under threat from being torn down to make way for a condo development.
While their offer was accepted, the deal gives them only 60 days to come up with the $3-million down payment. So far, the crowdfunding campaign has raised $140,000 of its $1-million goal, with the rest of the funds to come from private investors. The deadline to buy the Rio is July 7.
Speaking with CBC News, Lea said that an idea being floated at the moment is holding a fundraiser, with Reynolds to be potentially involved.
“We are talking about some potential ideas … perhaps a hometown screening of ‘Deadpool’ as a fundraiser?” she said. “We’re just looking at ideas at the moment.”
Other celebrities who have lent their support to keeping the theatre from being demolished include Elijah Wood, “Stranger Things” star (and Vancouver native) Finn Wolfhard and director Kevin Smith, who has plans to host two fundraisers for the Rio (a second was added after his the first event sold out immediately).
Smith’s fundraising events were scheduled for the end of March; however, the “Clerks” director is sidelined at the moment after suffering a massive heart attack in late February.