Riverside Studios is a well known arts centre and TV studio on the banks of the Thames in Hammersmith, with a fantastic and interesting heritage. It was acquired by the BBC in the 1950’s, to produce genuine classics such as Blue Peter and has since, been home to not-quite-so-classic TV including Celebrity Juice and The Apprentice: You’re Fired. Despite some hit-and-miss shows, it was always recognised as a fantastic space that brought together artists from film, television and theatre like few other places did.
Over the past five years the studios has been undergoing a very significant redevelopment and as of next month reopens, offering a completely new cinematic experience. It has been a phased redevelopment and reopening. The first phase opening with a new coffee shop and brasserie. The second phase was the launch of the new theatre, which opened to the public earlier this month. Phase three now includes the launch of the cinema.
There are now two screens to choose from. The first is a 208 person screen that has had a significant overhaul (which to be fair it really needed – tired is an understatement). The second, a completely new 46 person screen, which will presumably be used for private screenings as well as public screenings with a more niche appeal.
As you would imagine with a cinema with the history of Riverside Studios, programming is going to be very carefully curated, with a blend of arthouse, foreign and broader appeal stuff. Current listings include Bong Joo-Ho’s exceptional Parasite, Autumn de Wilde’s Emma and the hypnotic and unusual Little Joe. Little Joe at the redeveloped Riverside Studios seems like the perfect fit to me.