Rio Cinema

Cinemas, Independent Stoke Newington
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(16user reviews)
212 Love It
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Rio Cinema
Alastair Wiper

This Dalston cinema opened as the Kingsland Empire in 1915 (although films were shown on the same site several years before in a converted shop). The venue was significantly changed in the 1930s and reopened as the Classic in 1937 – very similar to how it looks today. It became the Rio in 1976 and is now one of the few genuinely independent movie houses in London. A single-screen cinema with a grand, two-floor auditorium, the Rio shows mostly independent and foreign films, with a healthy sprinkling of double bills, classics and films for kids. The foyer is a compact but welcoming place to find food and drink before a film – although you might want to save yourself for one of Dalston’s Turkish restaurants.


Venue name: Rio Cinema
Address: 107 Kingsland High St
E8 2PY
Transport: Rail: Dalston Kingsland
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  • Time Out says
    • 4 out of 5 stars
    The young writer-director Damien Chazelle has followed his Oscar-winning drama 'Whiplash' with another entirely novel film steeped in the world of music. His soaring, romantic, extremely stylish and endlessly inventive 'La La Land' is that rare be...
    Read more
  • Time Out says
    • 4 out of 5 stars
    If you’re a fan of Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, don’t miss this staggeringly beautiful film by rising-star director Makoto Shinkai (who’s already being called ‘the new Miyazaki’). ‘Your Name’ – Japan’s highest grossing film of 2016 – is...
    Read more
  • Read more

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:12
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening
Jo Gowans

Rio is a brilliant independently run local cinema, with a proper old theatre style screen - if you can, grab a seat at the front of the upper circle! I've seen obscure films shown late at night on Saturdays, National Theatre live screenings and most recently went for the opening night of La La Land, which was packed out. Next we've booked a subtitled showing of Japanese animation Your Name on a Sunday afternoon. There's a decent bar which is also one of the few places in the UK to serve Club-Mate. 

Andrew W

Great picture and sound, the latest indie movies and classic double bills on a Sunday, stunning 30's art deco auditorium compete with stalls and circle, friendly service and locally sourced beer, wine, coffee and cakes! also its one of London's last truly independent picture palaces.

Amethyst H

Superb old-style cinema with a great selection of cultural events as well as screenings.

Vieve W

An oldie but goodie. That's what I felt when I went here for a 90s film night special! Before you even go in, you could tell this eas an eclectic and old cinema sitting in the heart of Dalston. We bought popcorn and drinks which were much more reasonably priced than your typical cinema experience. The screen room was, without a doubt, very very old and the whole interior reflected this. But once the screening started, it began to feel...comfortable, very comfortable actually! The legroom was more than spacious, the seats were comfortable and the screen itself was very big so no actual complaints! Boyz N The Hood was the film we chose to watch and with a showing at 11:30pm, it was definitely an interesting time to be hanging around in Dalston! My friend and I had a great night and would definitely visit this quirky old time cinema again!

Diana T

I've walked by this place a million times and finally went in, and twice in one week! I love the way the theatre has been converted to their only screen. The cafe staff are super relaxed but also nice, instead of that "I don't give a fuck" attitude I've been seeing a lot lately. The food and drink is really affordable, but do have cash if you wish to spend less than £5. The movie tickets are a little pricey but if you join their mailing list you can find loads of ways to get a little discount. I would love to go here again, it makes you feel at home and everyone is treated nicely. I haven't checked out their bathrooms but I'm sure they're fine. 

Tom H

East London's loveliest cinema, totally lacking in the corporate grimness of Hackney Picturehouse. Friendly, reasonably priced and great programming. Stunning building, too.

Victoria B

My favorite cinema! Interesting and diverse selection of films and for a reasonable price (Monday's are only £6!). One of the last remaining truly independent cinemas.

Alanna S

Amazing independent cinema. It's old school charm might not be to everyone's taste. The seats are a bit worn and tatty and the screen is certainly no I-max but for me that's part of the fun. There is only one screen but they show a good variety of films. Save your money and avoid the Popcorn, it can be a bit stale!

Sheila M

This cinema needs to be treasured as one of the crown jewels in London's gems. As one of the last standing truly independent cinemas in London, it has not only resisted the commercialisation and 'corporatisation' of the film industry in the UK, but continues to serve its local community with a really colourful and diverse array of art & foreign language films as well as the big blockbusters, and still manages to keep it all affordable. London would be culturally lacking without the Rio Cinema.

Fabrice B

Disagree. Very uncomfortable seats, smells of damp, needs a lick of paint. Was a member for a year purely to enjoy their Sunday double bills. The auditorium was always closed for no apparent reason (I suspect because it's just more work for staff and they can't be bothered). Like many venues in London that are automatically praised by hipsters for their "authenticity", it should be really judged for the poor state it's in and the obvious lack of care from management.

Gill ward

lovely, quaint. old style cinema with a fantastic range of old and new films for the young, old and just about anyone. it's a proper stalwart of Dalston. There's mother and baby film sessions. a cafe serving hot and cold drinks, snacks and cake. it's laid back, serious about film, gets along with business quietly, has interesting themes from time to time and is like cinema used to be, smell, feel and exist. Don't mess around with the chains, the Rio's a proper gem and long may she live.