The importance of Rio Cinema lies within the opportunity it poses as one of the few outdoor venues in the heart of Cairo. The project is intended to renovate Bab al-Luk’s Rio Cinema with the aim of turning it into a space that fuses the historic open-air cinema experience with a novel, alternative dining experience. Recognizing the rising popularity of concept-based restaurants, and the possibility the food and beverage industry poses to revenue generation, the design plans to divide the space into two main parts: an outdoor cinema and a restaurant. The space will also be marketed as a venue to rent for large outdoor events. In addition, on the peripheries of the screen, two pedestrian passageways will connect Mansur and Abd al-Majid al-Daramalli Streets, where stalls along each side will be rented to small businesses to sell their products.
The project proposes turning the main area across from the screen into an open space with removable seats that can be arranged according to the kind and size of the activity taking place. That way, the space can act as a cinema and maintain its outdoor feel while simultaneously accommodating for large, non-seated events, which constitute a key source of revenue. The restaurant will operate independently and will manage the cinema’s cafeteria, offering drinks and hand-held snacks for day-to-day attendees. It will also be equipped to cater for special events hosted by Zawya.