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.
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)
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