BIO: Founder and CEO of The Rio Theatre Corinne Lea is an Entrepreneur/ Provocateur. Originally schooled in the arts at ECUAD she was always a natural when it came to business. From selling Hubba Bubba gum to kids in her elementary school to designing Pop Art t-shirts and selling them in Japan, she’s had all kinds of entrepreneurial endeavours.
After graduating from art school she created and co-owned The Havana Restaurant Gallery/ Theatre on Commercial Drive. In 2000 she had a baby and opened up, Scout Pin Up Clothing Boutique, and became a local Burlesque dancer/ promoter known as Shameless Lee.
All her interests combined when she opened the Rio Theatre in 2008. We began as an independent movie house/ live venue for the first few years until the industry as a whole took a huge hit and local single screen theatres like the Rio were closing world wide. We realised the only way to survive was to get a Liquor license. After a long 14 month process we were finally granted our Liquor licence by the LCLB but that same day I was ordered to sign a letter confirming that I would no longer be allowed to “show movies of any kind at any time”. Thus began our four month battle to get the BC liquor laws changed.