In 1909, a shrewd auctioneer who recognised the money-making potential of movies, converted her Kingsland Road shop into a 175-seat 'electric picture house'.
Over 100 years later, and after many re-incarnations, the Rio is still going strong as an independent, single screen cinema that is home to art-house flicks, features and off-beat festivals.
Major structural work in 1999, saw its Art Deco fittings restored, the foyer enlarged, acoustics improved and cafe redesigned. Further renovations are now planned that include creating a second, 28-seat screen in the basement.
The Rio's diverse programming includes community screenings, classic movie matinees, a parent and baby club, educational workshops, plus Turkish, Kurdish, Spanish, LGBTQI and animation themed film festivals.
The venue has a number of private hire options, from kids birthday parties to corporate bashes, and can even serve as a film set itself.