Home News Hackney in the 1980s: 12,000 photographs found in The Rio’s basement have...

Hackney in the 1980s: 12,000 photographs found in The Rio’s basement have been brought back to life


Hackney Museum is set to reopen this week, with an exciting new exhibition, ‘Hackney in the 1980s’.

The exhibition – featuring an extraordinary collection of thousands of photographs taken in 1980s Hackney, found in the basement of the Rio Cinema in 2018 – had been due to launch earlier this year. It will finally open alongside the regular artifacts and treasures of the Museum this Tuesday. 

From stories of Anglo-Saxon settlers to recent refugees, the Museum’s insightful collections encompass the stories of the amazing people that have made Hackney their home over the last 1,000 years.

Taking on new safety measures in light of the pandemic, the Museum has introduced a way to book free tickets via a booking system which will stagger visitors and minimise crowds. Other measures include providing hand sanitiser, protective screens, and a one-way system around the galleries.

About the ‘Hackney in the 1980s’ exhibition 

During a recent refurbishment, Rio Cinema staff uncovered thousands of images and linked them back to once belonging to community group ‘The Tape/Slide Project’. Set up in the 80s by the late Centerprise Bookshop, the collective gave young people access to professional photography equipment with the intention of capturing the highs and lows of Hackney. After calling on Stoke Newington photographer Alan Denney to restore and digitise the slides, the photos will now be displayed as part of the exhibition with an official launch to be announced later this month. 

Important visitor information

  • The Museum will open Tuesday-Saturday from 13 October 2020. 
  • Opening hours: Tues, Wed: 9.30am-5.30pm, Thurs: 9.30am-8.00pm, Fri: 9.30am-5.30pm, Sat: 10.00am-5.00pm
  • Free visits by pre-booked tickets only, for groups of up to 5 people. Visitors can book in advance or on the day. To book, please visit visit-hackney-museum.eventbrite.co.uk