Dalston's Rio cinema celebrates its 100th birthday

05 September 2009

By Peter Sherlock

IN the heyday of British cinema, Hackney's movie-going public had no fewer than 23 cinemas to choose from.

Today, all but one of Hackney's long-lost cinemas have been consigned to the scrapbook of history.

The only remaining cinema, the Rio in Kingsland High Street, Dalston, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

The grade two listed building has been transformed into one of the capital's most popular independent cinemas.


To celebrate its centenary, the cinema is embarking on a new community project to make archive film more accessible and to bring the borough's rich and vibrant history to the big screen.

As well as using existing material in the Hackney Archives, the Rio is interested in secret treasures residents may have hidden away.

"Home movies are a rich source of memories and key to unlocking and accessing our pasts," said Jemma Buckley, the audience development officer at the cinema. "8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm, Super 8 - we are interested in it all.

"Over the last 30 years, video players have eroded the need for home projectors and we are aware that film owners may no longer be in possession of the appropriate equipment to view this special footage at home.

"Some may even have inherited the films and never seen the content."

The Rio is staging a special home movie screening day when residents will have the opportunity to bring along their film reels and view them on screen.

Furthermore, the Rio is able to digitise this material - so it can be played and enjoyed again and again at home on DVD.

If you have any old film footage at home, or would just like to know more about the project, contact Jemma at the Rio by emailing jemma@riocinema.org.uk, or calling 020 7241 9419.



Read more: Hackney Gazette