RIO CINEMA BRINGS HISTORY AND MODERNITY TOGETHER
Rio Cinema is a historic Hackney icon dating back over a century. It screens blockbusters, unusual art films, live plays of recorded poetry, a great selection of international films, panel discussions, and more.
Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2PB. Phone: 020 7241 9410
Rio Cinema, one of Dalston’s historic icons, dates back over 100 years. It was one of London’s original cinemas, set up in 1909, with a regular bill of silent films and was known as the Kingsland Palace of Animated Pictures. Times changed, and it went from a beautifully theatrical picture palace to an equally beautiful art deco style building in the 1930s. Parts of the original building remain, and through a secret door in the roof, you can catch a glimpse of the original 1915 auditorium. Whenever you watch a film here, you’re sitting in a cinema within a cinema.
In the 1960s, the Rio became one of London’s first art house cinemas and saw a brief stint as a burlesque and erotic picture house before specialising in kung fu, Elvis and Bollywood movies in the 1970s. This rich history of film and entertainment has set the tone for today’s Rio, which is run by an independent, not-for-profit charity and staffed by volunteers. You can still catch the big blockbusters, but you’ll also find unusual art films, live plays of recorded poetry, a great selection of international films, panel discussions, and more.
Like many places in Dalston, the Rio Cinema brings out what Hackney is best known for: that growing sense of openness, creativity, cultural diversity, and community. With its beautiful blue lights and grand frontage, it brings history and modernity together in one fantastic landmark – and it makes an excellent meeting place to begin a night out!