Ritz Cinema

76B King Street,
Belper, DE56 1QA

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Ritz Cinema

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Built in 1882 as the Town Hall & Law Court. It began screening films part-time in 1919. In 1935 it was re-named Ritz Cinema, and seating was provided for 720 in stalls and circle levels. This theatre included shops on the frontage with a centre door to the box office and foyer. It was later sub-divided, with bingo operating in the former stalls and a twin screen cinema in the former circle. It was small inside I guess about 200 seats and ran popular movies. The circle has now reverted back to a single auditorium, with bingo continuing downstairs.

Contributed by Tony Burson

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 3, 2007 at 7:16 am

Originally built as the Town Hall & Law Court (the name Belper Public Hall is engraved in the stonework on top of the buildings facade). It opened as the Ritz Cinema (around 1939 I believe) with a seating capacity of 720 (later reduced to 555). It had rear projection with the projection box being located behind the screen.

In 1971 it was split into two screens, each seating 75 persons. The twin cinema operated until October 1991 when it was closed.

On 3rd November 2006, the Ritz Cinema re-opened as a single screen cinema following a £250,000 refurbishment. It boasts 100 luxury seats.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 3, 2007 at 7:53 am

Further details I have found on the history of the Ritz Cinema:

The building was built in 1882 and first showed film in 1919, but was not a full time cinema. It was converted into the Ritz Cinema in 1935 with seating for 720 in stalls and circle. In 1971 Star Cinemas took over the operation and converted the stalls into a bingo hall and split the balcony into two cinemas seating 75 seats each. It is this area which has now been re-opened as the Ritz Cinema. I believe bingo still operates in the former stalls area.

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