You may have never seen a movie at the Rio Theater, but chances are you’ve driven by it: it’s the WWII-era Quonset hut just past the “Vacation Wonderland” sign in the town of Monte Rio.
Inside, the quaint one-screen is refreshingly removed from the moviegoing experience at large megaplexes. With its hand-picked music, personalized slides, and fabric from Christo’s fence hanging from the ceiling, it’s become a beloved staple of the West County community. And it needs the community’s help.
As we’ve covered in these pages before, the big studios will soon stop shipping movies to theaters on 35mm film, forcing movie theaters to convert to digital projection or else screen Phat Beach on infinite repeat. To stay alive, the Rio Theater needs to go digital. This is no major problem for chains like Cinemark and Regency, but financially, it’s a hell of an obstacle for small exhibitors like the Rio.
Along with a Kickstarter campaign, this weekend, the Rio hosts a “Save the Rio” mixer and movie with libations and nosh before a screening of the camp classic The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Proceeds go to purchasing a damned digital projector, sadly required nowadays, when the music of drag shows fills the room on Sunday, March 10, at the Rio Theater. 20396 Bohemian Hwy., Monte Rio. 1pm. $25. 707.865.0913.