Miniplex Rio? As it returns to profit, manager reveals that even a fourth screen might be possible

Riosign15 Rio 010515 ©
The Rio has a cult following but suffers from having only one screen

AFTER A YEAR in which it made a £40,000 loss, the Rio cinema has made a profit of just over £11,000.

The surplus has been helped by three years of rent relief from site owner Hackney council. If that cannot be re-agreed, however, the chances of the next year also being profitable will be reduced.

News of the profit for 2015-2016, given to the cinema’s annual general meeting on Sunday 150117, came only weeks after executive director Oliver Meek announced a crowdfunding campaign to raise £150,000 for expansion of the moviehouse, which is run as a charity. Otherwise, he said, the Rio could go under.

Rio280913: Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street, Dalston E8 2PB 280913 ©
Rio: cinema in a Hackney council-owned property built a loyal following

Those expansion plans, he told a small number of members, could one day run not only to a second screen in the basement, with about 40 seats, but to a third in the space behind the present screen. A fourth might even be potentially possible in the roof space.

No mention was made of the insertion of a screen in the centre of the upstairs gallery, which Meek announced late last month December 2016. The building is Grade II listed, which always deterred the previous board and management from considering a screen there.

The Rio is still in dispute with its staff, whose attempts to unionise and negotiate fair pay have floundered, as Loving Dalston has been exclusively reporting. Their union, Bectu, last week reported the Rio to the Central Arbitration Committee.

David Altheer 150117

* Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street, Dalston E8 2PB (020 7241 9410)

Backstory: Rio plans more screens; Strike breaks out at RioNew trouble at Dalston cinemaRio fails to keep out unionMr Rio quitsMultimillion-pound Hackney giveawayRio begs fans for moneyRio Cinema sign seeking, rather than advertising to, customers. Safety inspectors ended the use of a ladder for updating the sign 170816 © David Altheer

All pictures on this page © DavidAltheer [at], and all for sale for reproduction. Most photographs are available in bigger formats

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