Now that it has been fully restored, the Rio Theatre immediately recalls the splendour of its grand opening in 1938. Hiding behind the old-fashioned aesthetics, however, are a digital HD projector and surround-sound speakers that immerse filmgoers in an eclectic array of first-run blockbusters and cinema classics. Showing films again as of April 2012, the theatre’s movie selection ranges from sci-fi and horror to wholesome family films, though the program coalesces around a love for pop culture that the owners share with their most ardent fans.
Aside from the daily show times, cult classics—frequently in their original 35 mm form—screen at midnight on Fridays. Guests from all walks of life come out to these packed showings, where they can snack on popcorn made with real butter or win prizes for dressing in costume as their favourite character or key grip. The 420-seat theatre also hosts concerts and events throughout the year, including past performances by Janeane Garofalo and local musicians Bend Sinister.
Pacific Cinémathèque has been bringing essential cinema to Vancouver for nearly four decades. With an emphasis on international films, art-house flicks, Canadian classics, and under-the-radar movies, Pacific Cinémathèque offers alluring alternatives to the kiss-kiss, bang-bang blitz of Hollywood, earning it honours from the Vancouver Sun as 2009’s best art house/foreign film theatre. Get a double-bill ticket ($11.50 for adults) and activate your celluloid goggles for consumption of two game-changing movie experiences in one night. Upcoming features include a one-two punch from decorated documentary filmmakers Albert and David Maysles, with Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter chronicling ruinous recluses and rock-‘n’-roll rawness, respectively, while the Italian filmmaker Francesco Rosi’s works get top billing in a special retrospective running May 27–June 10. Other upcoming Pacific Cinémathèque films available on double bills include works by Japanese filmmaking legend Akira Kurosawa and the little-seen American cult comedy Casablanca. Wash down your viewing experience with a small popcorn ($3) and a small pop ($2.50) from the concession stand, both included in your Groupon.
Rendezvous Club may not have a hidden stock of cupid’s arrows, but it does have its fair share of date cards. While they may not be as whimsical as love-yielding weaponry, club founders Hillary and Chris have found they tend to be just as effective. At some chapters, Rendezvous Club's hosts hand the cards out during speed-dating parties and dinner-dating events that serve three-course meals. Using them, singles can jot down the names, characteristics, and preferred Monopoly game pieces of people they’re interested in meeting again. For those who prefer more organic dating atmospheres, Select locations feature less-structured singles parties and mix-and-mingle events that round up singles and let them converse on their own, aided by complimentary appetizers.
Your seat will be in section C of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, which includes seats in the orchestra, mezzanine, and balcony; seats are assigned on a first-come first-serve basis, so redeem early to get the best spot. You will be charged a $2 handling fee (not covered by the Groupon) when you reserve your ticket.