Rio Cinema

107 Kingsland High Street,
London, E8 2PB

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Woody_London on March 1, 2017 at 3:43 pm

The Rio Cinema Dalston making global news with its spoof prank on the La La Land/Moonlight Oscar fiasco

popcorn_pete on January 28, 2017 at 8:16 pm

More info on the second screen here: There may even be a chance of a third one later on.

Woody_London on December 1, 2016 at 5:41 am

From the IDEAL KINEMA Feb 10 1938

The Classic, Kingsland Road, London, which was opened recently to be run on a repertory policy by C. Seeman of the Classic Baker St, is a reconstruction of the old Kingsland Empire. The whole interior was gutted leaving the walls and roof, a new circle installed, and new waiting spaces, foyer, operating box and plenum chamber constructed. The front was remodelled and was designed to give full play to the elaborate neon scheme designed by the architect. The neon scheme consists of the word “Classic” in in Kingsland High Road, the letters averaging 10 ft high, and on the corner a metal and glass sign projecting 6ft 6 inches from the wall and 33ft high illuminated by banks of neon tube. A new canopy with an illuminated facia completes the remodelling. The interior is decorated in a modern style with sweeping lines, and the colouring is in a grey-blue and warm brown, and the seating in a dark red, which is set off by red festoon tabs. Contracts Main contractors, Parker and Addison, Streatham, fibrous plaster and decorations and front elevation treatment, Campbell Bros, 28 Albert Embankment SE11, exterior sign, canopy and ornamental metal work, Garton and Thorne, 44 St Pauls Crescent Camden Town, heating and ventilation, London Radiator Heating Co Ltd, Brentford, electrical work Troughton and Young Ltd, 143 Knightsbridge SW1, fire appliances, Independent Sprinklers, Sardinia Street, London, seating, carpets and curtains, Pathe Equipment Ltd, sound apparatus, Western Electric, neon lighting, Borough Electric Signs Ltd, Ranelagh Road SW1.

HowardBHaas on April 5, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Yes, here in the States I’m watching now that Whitechapel episode. It also filmed in the theater’s back and in the interior, too, in the auditorium and stairway.

William Mewes
William Mewes on February 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

This is a screen capture from Series 3 Episode 2 of “Whitchapel”


Ian on August 23, 2011 at 12:44 am

A set of images from 2011 of this great cinema






Well worth seeing a film here!

woody on February 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm

another press ad from march 1971 as the tatler showing lurid smutty double bills

Ian on September 25, 2010 at 1:51 am

Two photos of the Rio, taken in 1989 before the major renovation to the cinema in 1996:–

woody on June 15, 2010 at 1:55 am

a press ad from dec 1979 showing a week of rep booking, and a very 70’s Rio logo, some great titles in here:

woody on May 16, 2009 at 6:05 am

night time photos may 2009, suddenly this area is mega trendy with the opening of the new bar and club next to the Rio called Dalston Superstore
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kevinp on March 2, 2008 at 12:17 pm

That (28 feb )is one fabulous picture : and what an appropriate title on the canopy !


Gaumont on December 3, 2007 at 8:20 am

Some more views of the Rio Cinema, at night: View link
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HowardBHaas on April 21, 2007 at 6:48 am

My exterior photo taken this month when I visited this Art Deco gem:
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Gemma on June 21, 2006 at 6:09 am

Some more photos of the Rio, including some interior pics, after it was restored to its 1930s glory. Some interesting architectural features. Click on the thumbnails for clearer pics.
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Gaumont on May 15, 2006 at 11:40 am

One more photo of this marvelous movie theatre at night:
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 6, 2006 at 8:56 am

Another recent view of the Rio Cinema, Dalston in north London:

benrayner on October 24, 2005 at 11:10 am

one of the very few single screen ‘proper’ cinemas still operating: a wonderful small compact art deco interior with excellent projection and sound system. The projectionists can still lower the house lights and draw the tabs in a professional manner. People in the balcony are so unused to the ‘circle’ experience that they lean over the edge and peer at the hoi-poloi below just like I used to do as a kid 60 odd years ago! Is the Rio the only ‘community cinema’ in the UK? – something that seems much more common in the USA and has saved single-screen cinemas there to become at least part-time cinemas once more and splendidly restored – one of the fascinations of the CT site.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 20, 2005 at 9:23 am

In 1909, Clara Ludski converted an auctioneers shop into the Kingsland Palace Cinema and it was so successful that in 1915 properties on both sides were purchased and the whole lot demolished.

In their place a new cinema was errected, known as the Kingsland Empire, it was designed by Percy Adams and Gearge Coles in a classical Edwardian style. Seating was provided for 902 persons in orchestra stalls and circle levels. By 1933 it was being operated by London & Southern Cinemas Ltd.

In 1936 it was purchased by Capitol and Provincial News Theatres Ltd as part of the Classic Repertory Cinemas chain. A decision was made to modernise the cinema and architect Frederick A. Bromige was employed. He designed an art deco ‘drawing room super cinema’ that seated 576 persons in stalls and circle levels within the shell of the old Kingland Empire and it re-opened in 1937 with a new name Dalston’s Classic (Dalston being the name of this inner London district).

It remained under the Classic banner through various disguises such as Classic Cartoon Cinema (late 1950’s), Classic Continental (1960), Classic (1960-1970 screening Hollywood classic movies) and finally Tatler Cinema Club (1970-1976 screening uncensored sex films).

In 1976 and independent co-operative management took over the cinema and re-named it Rio Cinema, screening a mix of art house, general release and community films.

In 1996 the Rio closed for 18 months for a complete restoration which brought it back to its 1937 art deco splendour. This was part-funded by money donated by the National Lottery.