The main sign at Rio Theatre, located at 7204 W. 80th Street and operated by Fine Arts Group, has been down for nearly three weeks — but a permanent closure is not on the horizon.
During the period in which patrons are not allowed inside the theatre due to COVID-19 restrictions, the marquee, or the canopy projecting over the theatre’s entrance, is being restored, said Brian Mossman, vice president of Fine Arts Group. The theatre will reopen after its COVID-19 shutdown, but donations are still welcome, he said.
“A lot of small mom and pop businesses that, on the backside of this pandemic, some of the businesses won’t be around — we will,” Mossman said. “Every little penny that we get from our longtime loyal customers is very helpful.”
Fine Arts Group began asking for donations in April, for fear that if doors did open after COVID-19 closures, business wouldn’t be the same. A large portion of its clientele fall within vulnerable populations, which may result in revenue loss if patrons continue to be cautious.
The group, which also operates Glenwood Arts Theatre in Leawood, rolled out a virtual independent film screening platform to continue to bring in revenue. The virtual screening platform can be found on Fine Arts Group’s main website here. Mossman said Fine Arts Group is still requesting donations, which can be made here.
Mossman said nobody knows when theatres will be able to open as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. In the meantime, Fine Arts Group is considering redoing the theatre’s 20-year-old carpet, he said.