Former Rio cinema (fully booked)

A. de Ville de Goyet ©

Although the first cinema built on this site opened its doors in 1913, the modernist building we see today was constructed in 1954 following a design by architects René Ajoux and François de Bond. The entrance is marked by a vast reinforced-concrete canopy that beckons cinemagoers to discover the world inside. The building’s two upper levels feature parallel bow windows glazed with multicoloured stained glass and are clad in blue sandstone tiles. After the cinema shut down in 1975, the building’s ground floor was substantially modified for commercial use. However, the impressive reinforced-concrete balcony and some of the decorative Steengas ceramic latticework and panelling can still be seen in the auditorium. By examining the decor and finishings inside the cinema and looking at the building’s original colour scheme, we can get an idea of what it must have looked like when it was first built. (Listed since 17 June 2010)

Guided tours, Sat. 10:00, 11:30, 14:00 and 15:30 (French) 10:30, 12:00, 14:30 and 16:00 (Dutch). In cooperation with Arkadia.

The exhibition RIO ON STAGE transports visitors back to the Rio cinema as it appeared in 1954 and offers an insight into the entertainment venue’s history. The colour finishes used in the reference period chosen for the restoration project (1954) are compared with those used in other Brussels cinemas in the 1950s and a range of ideas for the building’s future are presented for visitors and local residents to consider.

The exhibition, which is based on the work of a group of students on the ULB/VUB Executive Master’s in Architectural Heritage programme, is being staged in the former cinema foyer and includes 3D images of the cinema prepared by a student working towards a Master’s in Architecture at the ULB.

This project is being undertaken in cooperation with La Rétine de Plateau, the site’s owner and GS3.

Practical information

Sat. & Sun., 10:00 to 18:00

Rue Marie-Christine/Maria-Christinastraat 100-102, Brussels-Laeken/Laken

Advance booking required

6 Bockstael
62 93 Princesse Clémentine - Prinses Clementina
Non accessible

Non accessible


Choose your visit schedule, taking into account the language of the potential guided tours (duration: 30 min.)
fully booked
fully booked