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Ryan Reynolds offers surprise video message to help save Vancouver's legendary Rio Theatre — watch

"The Rio is a landmark, an institution in Vancouver," said the Vancouver-born star before a Deadpool screening

"The Rio is a landmark, an institution in Vancouver," said the Vancouver-born star before a Deadpool showing

"I know how fleeting institutions like that are, and how fleeting landmarks like that are in Vancouver,” said Reynolds in a video message for the Rio Theatre on Sunday night. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Before a special fundraiser screening of Deadpool 1 and Deadpool 2 at Vancouver's Rio Theatre on Monday night, there were rumours that the films' star Ryan Reynolds might make a surprise appearance.

Reynolds has been an outspoken supporter of the theatre, which is one of the last remaining independent theatres in the city. When it went up for sale last year, locals stepped in not only to save it from demolition, but to buy it and keep it running.

While fans didn't get to see Reynolds in person, they did get a special video message from the Canadian megastar. [Warning: contains strong language]

"I wish I could be there – f**k, I wish I could be there," said Reynolds in the video. "I'm currently working in New York City, which is located in the country of America, which – if we're being honest with ourselves – seems to be going fine."

Reynolds then thanked the audience for coming to the screening and for supporting the storied theatre, which first opened 80 years ago.

"The Rio is a landmark – an institution in Vancouver," he said. "I know how fleeting institutions like that are, and how fleeting landmarks like that are in Vancouver, because Vancouver is a city that tends to grow, because, you know, Vancouver is f**king awesome."

Although Reynolds has a non-stop shooting schedule, he said he couldn't wait to return to his hometown and "sit down and luxuriate in that theatre."

At the end of the clip, he notices his "plunging neckline" and hilariously corrects it.

Watch:

The #SaveTheRio organizers managed to raise enough money to have their offer on the theatre accepted. Now they're continuing to line up investors to keep the theatre up and running.

This weekend wasn't the first time Reynolds has given The Rio a boost, either. Earlier this year, he tweeted "The Rio Theatre in Vancouver is legendary. Spoiler Alert: I plan to be buried there. #SaveTheRio" and shared a link to the theatre's Indiegogo page. 

Over the last several months, #SaveTheRio organizers have received all kinds of high-profile support, including from American filmmaker, actor and author Kevin Smith — who performed two free shows at the theatre as part of a frantic fundraiser weekend — and Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Van Evra is a Vancouver-based journalist and digital producer. She can be found on Twitter @jvanevra or email jennifer.vanevra@cbc.ca.

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