How does it work?

The Rio Theatre can accommodate a wide variety of events, including concerts, lectures, video presentations, movies and theatre. We also do weddings.

Our multi-purpose venue has 675 seats and a thrust stage 40 feet wide, with center section at 24 feet.

Pricing for the Rio Theatre is based on the particular event, dependant of technical needs and staffing needs . Rehearsals and classes are charged hourly. Non-profit educational Organizations and public schools get special deals

The Foyer and Cabaret Space:

Tear drop shaped, with an approximate size of 24 feet wide and 60 feet deep..This is the main lobby space.

The Beautiful Main Theatre:

Historic, romantic and very functional..

  •  Original refurbished movie theatre seats + wheel chair spaces
  • Capacity of 650
  • Thrust stage is 40 feet wide total, with center section at 24 feet
  • Stage floor is masonite
  • Large movie screen 20 feet high by 30 feet wide
  • Grand drape can close to cover movie screen
  • Complete sound system
  • Lighting system
  • Projection system : Christie WU12K-M WUXGA 3DLP Projector
  • Backstage area behind movie screen, approximately 100 square feet
  • Open space in front of stage for dance, orchestra pit, special effects

Standard rental rate for rehearsals and classes in the main theatre is $40 hourly with a 2 hour minimum.


Standard rental rate for events, well, is not standard.. Since every event is different, with varying budgets, all rentals are negotiated individually. The mission of the Rio Theatre is to make space available for the arts, at an affordable price. There is a sliding scale from commercial events to Non-profit organization and schools. This does not include sound system and operators, nor lighting operator. We need the technical requirements in order to price these items correctly.. If you are interested in booking the Rio Theatre, please fill out our pre-booking form here.

Keep in mind, the Rio Theatre's marquee will be made available to promote your event with a full price rental.. This is a boon for advertising your event, on one of the busiest intersections in Santa Cruz..

The Crying Room

Used mainly as a green room ( hospitality), this room is on the second floor, with a full view of the main theatre. Couches, table and chairs. Used also as a dressing room, with another smaller private dressing room across the hall..Private rest room can be made available.

If you are interested in booking the Rio Theatre, please fill out our booking form here.