The RIO cinema was built 55 years ago by a great, local cinema agent, Diogenis Herodotou. It was an open air cinema with a capacity of 1500 and it became the most popular cinema of Cyprus at its time.
The Limassolians still bring back and feel nostalgic about everything that RIO meant to them. A lovely, cool place dominated by the fragrances of its surrounding creepers and flowers, where they spent exhilarating summer evenings among cinema heroes who fascinated them with their acting causing them emotions.
Going back one can reflect on all the sounds and noises produced by the distinct characters who were working for the cinema, the viewers' burst of exclamations or laughters and the music of popular songs broadcast over the loudspeakers while everyone was eagerly waiting for the start of the film.
Added to all these was the "ritual" of the intermission when they would enjoy drinking a cold refreshment or eating hotly baked nuts or anything else accompanying a night of outing to the cinema.
While the performance was well on its way, outside there were hundreds queuing up, waiting patiently for the second performance while many more were arriving.
All around the cinema there were several kebab houses giving off the mouthwatering smell of their freshly charcoaled kebabs and tempting people before or after the performance. The neighbours, sitting outside their houses were enjoying the music while watching the cinema's clients come and go. Some of them living in a flat could take a glimpse of the film from their balcony while some brave ones enjoyed the film climbing up the tall trees on one side of the cinema despite having a view of only half of the screen.
At times RIO used to bring in as visitors popular Greek actors who featured in the films. This excited the people who could see live their heroes always giving them a warm welcome when they met in or out of the cinema.
Everything about RIO cinema was like a dream which despite the lapse of time has remained vivid in people's memories.
The cinema implies the magical movement of pictures. It is a form of art which carried away with it the whole world since its initial appearance and it was rightly called "the seventh art" as it comprised a combination of arts, sciences and studies such as fine arts, music, theatre, architecture, literature, history, endymatology and many more in a harmonic coexistence, all of which are mixed with human imagination.
It is definitely an art but it is also civilization and a form of international culture, a way of expression and communication of persons and peoples, but above all it is entertainment and enjoyment dressed with a striking sense of socialization. These are features which cannot be offered in a similar manner by a small TV screen in the remote surroundings of a living room.
Since its foundation at the start of the 1960s, RIO has been in the service of the cinema and it is absolutely devoted to it, being renewed continually depending on the call of time and proceeding hand in hand with its film screenings in an eternal youth, having entertained the past generations, continuing to entertain faithfully the present generations and hoping to do the same with the coming ones.