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Dalston's Rio Cinema to mark World Aids Day with its first Christmas lights switch-on

PUBLISHED: 11:23 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:16 01 December 2017

How the Rio expects its Christmas tree display to look tomorrow. Picture: Rio Cinema

How the Rio expects its Christmas tree display to look tomorrow. Picture: Rio Cinema

Archant

The Rio Cinema will mount and illuminate a huge Christmas tree above its doors in support of World Aids Day tomorrow.

The Rio team celebrate hitting their fundraising target in September. Back row, L-R: Rory Brown, Joseph Greene, Liam Fawcett and Al Jackson. Front: Tim Stevens and Esther Thorngent. Picture: Ramzy AlwakeelThe Rio team celebrate hitting their fundraising target in September. Back row, L-R: Rory Brown, Joseph Greene, Liam Fawcett and Al Jackson. Front: Tim Stevens and Esther Thorngent. Picture: Ramzy Alwakeel

It’s part of Pride 365, Hackney’s year-long celebration of the borough’s LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex) culture.

World Aids Day falls on December 1 each year, and cash from the evening will be donated to causes to help fight the illness and the stigma that comes with it.

Hackney mayor Phil Glanville will switch the lights on at 7.30pm. Other attractions will include a queer cabaret performance courtesy of Robyn Herfellow, mulled wine, mince pies, and a large sprig of mistletoe in the doorway.

The festive get-together helps round off what has been a big year for the Rio: it smashed its £125,000 fundraising target to build a new screen in September. The cash also means it can renovate the exterior of the century-old building.

Mr Glanville said: “As well as lighting up Dalston for Christmas, this World Aids Day themed tree will also help shine a light on HIV stigma, which is sadly still all too prevalent, as well as raising money to support causes which help people living with HIV and to tackle HIV stigma, so it becomes a thing of the past.

“Since the launch of Hackney Pride 365 earlier this year we have celebrated the borough’s creative, radical and diverse LGBTQI+ community, with events across Hackney that brought together people from all walks of life in some of Hackney’s most well-loved venues and outdoor spaces.

“I’m proud to finish the celebrations at one of the borough’s oldest institutions, the Rio, which has a long and proud history of supporting LGBTQI+ films and filmmakers as well as hosting regular events that bring the whole of Hackney’s community together, no matter what sexuality, gender or background.”

The evening is backed by the Terrence Higgins Trust and the council, and the Christmas tree comes from Harringay firm We Tree Kings.

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