The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Rio Theater seeing record audiences following upgrades

Historic cinema adds new projector to arsenal of improvements


July 27, 2022

Scott Swanson

Thomas Baham

There's a reason parking lots around the Rio Theatre have been overflowing on movie nights this summer. Owner Thomas Baham said he's seeing record attendance.

The theater's drawing double the numbers it saw in 2019, and more and more people appear to be coming from outside Sweet Home.

"Post-COVID, we've noticed a big change in the audience," he said last week as he showed off his newest improvement: a powerful Sharp/NEC 4K laser projector that will offer a brighter image and improved color and contrast over the theater's former lamp-based model.

"I would say 50%, I don't know who they are...

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