Ritz Cinema

Station Road,
Wigan, WN1

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Ritz Cinema

This Art Moderne style gem was open for 60 years(1938-1997). It closed due to the building of a new and devoid of character multiplex, and was subsequently demolished.

Contributed by SAMANTHA COLLINGS

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 26, 2005 at 11:09 am

The Ritz Cinema opened on 7th March 1938 and was part of a building project already begun by Union Cinemas, taken over by ABC Cinemas.

It was re-named ABC Wigan in March 1962 and closed on 28th May 1977 for tripling in the circle with bingo in the former stalls area. The 3 cinemas ABC 1,2 and 3 opened on 27th October 1977 with seating capacities of 485, 321 and 106. They were closed by ABC on 5th March 1983.

They re-opened as the Ritz Cinema (by an independent) on 4th January 1985 and were successful until a new Virgin multiplex opened in the town and despite cutting prices to attract more patrons, the Ritz closed on 10th April 1997.

Sadly, the building was not deemed worthy of being granted a Listed status and was demolished in 2002.

JoeBGSU
JoeBGSU on April 6, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Photo’s I took in 2004, the year before demolition:
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 26, 2010 at 9:48 am

The Ritz Cinema awating demolition in January 2005:
View link

terry
terry on July 12, 2014 at 4:09 am

More about the ABC Ritz here :–

http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Wigan/RitzWigan.htm

terry
terry on November 19, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Photos uploaded to relevant section.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 11, 2018 at 8:11 am

The Beatles played there a photo is in the photo section.

terry
terry on January 25, 2019 at 2:57 pm

1977 auditorium shot of the ABC Ritz uploaded. This was taken from the circle crossover just before the conversion team moved in.

The reopened building was, as in the case of Plymouth, Chester and Aldershot, a poor affair with two cinemas in the circle and a third screen in the former restaurant. This method of subdivision enabled Bingo to reign supreme in the stalls area.

EMI, like Rank, often did ‘drop wall’ conversions some of which, like Halifax and Northampton, were neat affairs retaining all the theatre’s impressive features with the ‘minis’ occupying only the circle under-hang. Sometimes,as in the case of Northampton, the front stalls seating was retained and the stage continued to be used.

It was a great pity, therefore, that the so called ‘Social Club’ division were not told ‘where to go'in the case of Wigan etc as their occupancy of the stalls and stage areas ensured that the results, at least as far as cinema was concerned, were very sorry states of affairs indeed.

At least Wigan had no Rank opposition but in the case of Plymouth and Chester where Rank had very fine theatres , ABC, having had equally impressive venues with full stage facilities, were then left well and truly in the shade.

curmudgeon
curmudgeon on February 1, 2019 at 1:02 am

Sadly, when viewing JoeBGSU’s photo’s it seems demolition of this once fine building was merciful following the uninspired tripling of the ‘70’s.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater