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Generous public funds second screen at The Rio

Celebrations are underway after a fundraising campaign to build a second screen in the basement of the Rio Cinema reached its £125,000 target.

‘Rio-Generation’ captured the hearts of more than 300 generous donors, some of whom pledged large amounts of money to help safeguard the future of the historic cinema.

Celebrities Paloma Faith, Trevor Nelson, Russell Brand, Luke Evans and Director of Baby Driver Edgar Wright all spoke out in support and the Mayor of London’s Crowdfunding scheme pledged £40,000.

Writing on the cinema’s Spacehive fundraising page, a Rio spokesperson said: “Wow! thank you so much to everyone who has pledged. We are completely delighted and so touched to see just how much this cinema means to people. The Rio is a very special place and has an excited future ahead. Long live the Rio!”

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.

London resident Lindsay Lights wrote: “Dalston without the Rio would be a bleak place - hope to see it serving the community for many years to come!”

Philip Grey wrote: “A London, national, and I hear possibly even international treasure. Long may its beam burn bright!”

The Rio is London’s oldest non-profit charity-run community cinema. Every penny spent supports work within Hackney’s diverse community.

    Long live the Rio!

    Posted 25th September 2017