Title ID 11792Collection ID1502
TitleRio Cinema in Sheerness
Dateca. 1988
CollectionStingemore Family
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionAlan Stingemore
CameraAlan Stingemore
FormatSuper 8mm Colour Sound
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details.


This film shows exterior views of the closed Rio Cinema in Sheerness, Kent.


Alan Stingemore's short film captures the final years of the Rio Cinema at 27 Broadway, Sheerness. This extraordinary Art Deco-style building seems at odds with its surroundings. There are dramatic views of the cinema’s white stuccoed edifice with its sculptural forms and surfaces before tilting down to the neglected looking foyer and canopy. 'Save the Rio' graffiti can be seen on the walls as the traffic passes by.


A still image taken from TID 11792, showing the 1930's exterior and front facade of the Rio Cinema.

Contextual information

Sheerness' Rio Cinema was designed by George Coles and opened in June 1937. Originally built as part of the Kay Brothers' cinema chain before being taken over by Gaumont British Theatres, the Rio could seat 1600 patrons. It also had a large foyer which could accommodate a further 500 waiting customers. This meant that cinema-goers could wait in air-conditioned comfort inside the building rather than queue outside. After the Rio closed in June 1958, the building became a factory for the production of Lilliput toys until it was abandoned in 1987. Efforts to preserve the building were unsuccessful and it was demolished in 1988. A residential blocks of flats now stands on the site.