23 Sheen Road,
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The Ritz Cinema was a project of Union Cinemas Ltd, but was actually opened by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) due to their take-over of Union. Designed by Samuel Beverley, working in association with Leslie H. Kemp, the Ritz Cinema was a luxury cinema building, fitting the rather affluent district of Richmond-upon-Thames.
The facade was designed in a Neo-Georgian style whilst the auditorium, which had seating for 1,456 in the stalls and 694 in the circle, was in a refined Art Deco style with prominent and elaborate grilles on the side walls, behind which were the chambers to the Wurlitzer 3Manual/8Ranks theatre organ, which was opened by organist Wilfred Southworth. The cinema also had a cafe-restaurant for the convenience of patrons and the general public.
The Ritz Cinema opened on 19th May 1938 with Grace Moore in "I’ll Take Romance" and John Barrymore in "Bulldog Drummond’s Revenge".
The Ritz Cinema was re-named ABC in 1961 and sadly closed on 11th December 1971 with Dirk Bogarde in "Death In Venice". The building was soon demolished and and office block named Spencer House was built on the site.
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