Conservation and Renewal
The cinema was designed by George Coles of Adams and Coles in 1913 and altered by F.E. Bromige in the 1930s. At this time an Art Deco shell was created within the existing interior, reducing the size of the auditorium. While continuing to operate as a successful local cinema, by the 1990s the building was in need of a comprehensive overhaul. Burrell Foley Fischer was appointed to refurbish the Rio Cinema following its involvement in the initial feasibility stage in 1994. The project progressed after the Arts Council of England Lottery Fund Award was granted in February 1998.
The auditorium is provided with state of the art audio-visual technology and comfortable new stall seating within the renovated and restored Art Deco shell. The box office and bar counters are designed to appear as modern insertions within the existing building fabric. Improved wheelchair access was implemented throughout with lift access to training and meeting room spaces at basement level. External and internal illuminated signage and neon strips accentuate the fluted features and vertical bands of the original façade giving the cinema a strong night presence.