Rio Cinema (Dalston)

  • Cinemas
  • Independent
64 Love It
Alastair Wiper
Stoke Newington

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 (Dalston)
Address: 107 Kingsland High St
E8 2PY
Transport: Rail: Dalston Kingsland
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  • Time Out says
    • 5 out of 5 stars
    With 'Carol', the American director Todd Haynes returns us to a place similar to the repressed 1950s East Coast universe that he explored in his 2002 film 'Far from Heaven'. It's historically not long past but this is an emotionally oh-so-distant ...
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  • Time Out says
    • 4 out of 5 stars
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    Pick a date

    • Interactive Until Saturday December 12 2015
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    Average User Rating

    4.2 / 5

    Rating Breakdown

    • 5 star:4
    • 4 star:1
    • 3 star:0
    • 2 star:0
    • 1 star:1
    1 person listening
    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.