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New owners, new name for Sonoma County’s Monte Rio Theater

Monte Rio Theater, situated in downtown Monte Rio on the banks of the lower Russian River in west Sonoma County, has new owners.

The newly named Monte Rio Theatre & Extravaganza was purchased this month by new owners David and Kim Lockhart (residents and River’s Edge Kayak & Canoe owners), Paul DuBray (resident and Rio Café & Grill owner), Bryan Gallinger (marketing and events professional), and Dan Jahns (resident and finance professional). The purchase price was not disclosed.

“The Monte Rio community has been waiting for someone to revitalize this amazing theatre. It has so much potential to play a positive role in shaping our entire community and in helping to build an even stronger Sonoma,” said DuBray.

In announcing the purchase, the group stated it aims to expand into interactive events and activities catering to local families and visitors. The updated community-driven multipurpose property will feature a diverse mix of arts, events, and experiential activities. Plans for the future also include hosting weddings, live music, a farmer’s market, auto shows, food and beverage pairing-tastings, outdoor movie screenings, sporting events – as well as a café.

In late 2013, a group of 27 investors bought the 1.25-acre site for $599,000. In February 2020, the group announced the theater was being put up for sale. Prior to the group of investors’ purchase, the previous longtime owners had the business for 20 years but faced costs of upgrading equipment to show modern films, according to a report by The Press Democrat.

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