Blame the staff, say trustees as Riovolutionaries oust them from Dalston cinema’s board

Rio©DA0118: cinema Dalston 180118 © DavidAltheer [at]


* Monday 170820: News from the extraordinary general meeting held by the new Rio regime will be published by Loving Dalston this week 

* Update 030720: In what must be a boardroom first, the Rio trustee directors have again quit, this second time blaming the staff. In an email to members, the board said “the relationship between the current board and the staff has been negatively affected” by “recent developments”, a euphemistic reference to the Save Our Rio campaign that has toppled them


WHEN THE RIO BOARD FIRST QUIT, the individuals who wanted to replace the Rio trustees put their names and personal information on their site, Save The Rio. The exclusive report, below, published by Loving Dalston last week, gives the background to an unfortunate episode in the life of a historic cinema:

Numbering seven, including a couple, they are terming themselves “Guardian trustees” * because they want to take over the board temporarily before the annual general meeting. 

Comprehensive descriptions of the qualifications they believe equip them to save the at-risk cinema have been posted on their site. 

Among their charges against the present trustees are that they do not reflect Hackney’s ethnic mix; that most of them come from the corporate world; and that they are planning redundancies at the Dalston cinema. 

In the event it is doubtful whether the first issue i being improved on; some of the would-be trustees have business/City backgrounds; and not one, not even the Momentum activist, expressed any interest in staff salaries. (Rio workers had to struggle to win the right to unionise, leading eventually to a bitter strike. Despite financial assistance from two London Living Wage-committed Labour local authorities, the Rio still does not pay the LLW.)

Anthony and Teanne Andrews with Do The Right Thing director Spike Lee

The Riovolutionaries are waiting for Andrew Brooke, who chairs the present board, to reply to their demand for an extraordinary general meeting. Their blurbs are well-written, but if you might struggle with the off-white-on-black format, here are the hopefuls, in order of their listing on the site. If you want to learn more about them, press one of the links:

* Anthony and Teanne Andrews, founders of We Are Parable, a film-exhibition company;

* George Binette, retired trade unionist, Labour activist;

* Anna ClarkLondon Library development head;

* Fiona Johnston, had a career in equity markets, teacher at International House;

* Roderick Kiran and solicitor. You might see a photo at this link;

* Selina Robertsonfilm programmer and writer 

* Ranjit S. Rupral, independent programmer. 

Wannabe Rio trustee director: cinema-lover Ranjit Rupral

David Altheer 030720

* The “Guardian trustees” of the second paragraph are nothing to do with anti-squatting firms nor with the legendary newspaper and its controversial originsIf you want to help the anti-boardists, download the forms via this link, then email it to If you want to support the other side, go to the Rio site or write to the board at the Rio, 107 Kingsland High Street, Dalston E8 2PB

* Backstory: Revolutionaries tell cinema board to quitRio fails to keep out union out; Hackney group makes theatre work for the young; Rio workers strike; Union reports Rio to adjudicator; Boutique cinema opens in Clapton; Multimillion-pound truth about PicturehouseMr Rio quits; How Hackney Picturehouse got its premises for a penny 

* Rio photograph on this page © Reproduction by sale or agreement (no fee for charities).

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.

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