Rio-generation past the half-way point

A campaign to create a second screen and refurbish The Rio Cinema in Dalston has received a £40,000 pledge from The Mayor of London.

'Rio-Generation' has also captured the hearts of celebrities Paloma Faith, Trevor Nelson, Russell Brand, Luke Evans and Director of Baby Driver Edgar Wright – who have all spoken out in support.

The donation from The Mayor of London's crowdfunding scheme brings the total raised so far to £72,442 of their £130,000 target, with just 61 days to go.

Money raised will fund a first phase of work to create a new cinema screen in the basement and restore the building's exterior. A second phase, which will seek further funding, will create a third screen by 2021 and replace the iconic external lightbulbs with greener LED lights.

The Rio’s basement space was most recently used as Little Nan’s Bar but it has previously been used as a photography studio and darkroom, a women’s only recording studio, an immersive theatre space and, in WW1, it was a community air raid shelter.

Andrew Woodyatt of The Rio, said: “The support for the Rio fundraising has been incredible.

“It’s great to know we will be able to give so much more back and make the Rio a sustainable local asset, keeping cinema an accessible, ethical and affordable option for everyone in the area.”

Among the fundraising events planned this summer are history tours with presentations on the cinema’s story and exhibitions and local artists have created a special range of merchandise.