The Rio Cinema is an independent cinema in Dalston, Hackney. It is culturally renowned and a magnificent example of Art Deco architecture. The original building was an auctioneers’ shop owned by Clara Ludski. Ludski converted it to a picture palace, the Kingsland Palace, in 1909. With the arrival of sound in the 1930s, the cinema was taken over by Capital & Provincial News Theatres who commissioned architect Frank Ernest Bromige to refurbish it in Art Deco style. In 1976 it was renamed the Rio, and since 1979 it has been run as a charitable trust. The building was Grade II listed in 1999.
The Rio is run for and by local Hackney residents and programming has community at its heart. HOLT is focused on projects with high community impact and the cinema was an ideal setting for this reason. The Rio cinema runs educational school screenings, classic matinees for Hackney pensioners, special screenings for those hard of hearing and with dementia, family screenings, kids club, parents and babies club, plus concession tickets for students, low income and unemployed. The project enabled the cinema to expand its offer to include more film festivals, exhibitions and arthouse films with its second screen. The restoration of the exterior made a significant contribution to the street frontage, reduce anti-social behaviour and increase its attraction as a business.