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. With a newly added second screen to go with its 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|
107 Kingsland High St
|Transport:||Rail: Dalston Kingsland|
|Do you own this business?|
- Following on from her 2014 Cannes Grand Prix winner ‘The Wonder’, Italian writer-director Alice Rohrwacher returns with a transcendent time-twisting fable, ‘Happy as Lazzaro’. Set in the confines of a rural Italian village, the film follows a fami...Read more
- There are about seven metres of intestine inside the average person, and slowly but surely in his burgeoning directorial career, S Craig Zahler is showing us all of them. Echoing the infamous human bisection in ‘Bone Tomahawk’, his overlong but en...Read more
- Superstar Cuban ballet dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta takes us through his life in unusual style in this mix of drama and dance, fiction and reality. A little like ‘Pina’, Wim Wenders’ brilliant film about the late German dancer Pina Bausc...Read more
Pick a date
Things to do
Right Now Film Festival
Head to The Rio Cinema in Dalston for a thinking person's Bank Holiday, with a programme of five feature-length documentaries exploring the motives and truths behind global systems and addressing the unjust balances of power in the world right now. The...Film events Monday May 6 2019 - Sunday May 12 2019
Average User Rating
4.4 / 5
- 5 star:14
- 4 star:7
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
Loved this Cinema! Went for the first time last night to see Free Fire and a really awesome short film, Parallel Lives. The Cinema's retro look is so cool & the cafe serves really tasty snacks. Definitely intend to be a regular.
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.
East London's loveliest cinema, totally lacking in the corporate grimness of Hackney Picturehouse. Friendly, reasonably priced and great programming. Stunning building, too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...