Dalston’s Rio Celebrates 100 Years

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Celebrating 100 years of cinema in Hackney, this Saturday the Rio in Dalston is set to show a special compilation of archive film footage collected over the last year. With funding from Film London and Goldsmiths, the cinema has been encouraging local residents to delve into their attics and find any old reels of film that include footage of Hackney. This screening at 1pm will combine these films with footage from the Hackney Archives, which is set to show footage of all Hackney’s landmarks throughout the last century.

The Rio cinema was originally converted from an auctioneer’s shop in 1909 and named the Kingsland Palace. A new building, called the Kingsland Empire, replaced it in 1915, but the cinema we know today as the Rio took it’s current form in 1937 when it was opened as the Classic, designed to seat 561 guests with room for another 110 to stand. Today it’s one of London’s few remaining independent cinemas, run by a community committee which draws its repertoire from the artier end of mainstream releases with a large handful of classic shows and special events. We’re a particular fan of the ability to buy your own late night show on a weekend, where you and 50 friends can watch any film you like for £300. The rest of the seats are sold to the general public, and it’s always quite amusing to walk past the cinema each week and see what random film someone has selected as their late night birthday show that week (recent selections include The Fly, Casablanca, and Thelma & Louise.)

Image by Katie and Kake under cc-by-nc-sa license.

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