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The Ritz Cinema opened on 25th November 1940, unusual, as Britain was already over one year into World War II and non-essential buildings were not being built.
It was built for the small Lou Morris chain of cinemas and in July 1941 was taken over by Frederick’s Electric Theatres (Abraham’s Consolidated Co’s. Ltd.) who already operated the nearby State Cinema. Designed by architect E.H. Parke, the exterior has a brick faced tower feature over the corner entrance. Seating in the auditorium was provided in stalls and circle levels and the decorative scheme was a streamline Art Deco style with picturesque details. The proscenium was 41 feet wide and the cinema was equipped with a 2Manual LaFleur (Hammond) organ which was opened by noted theatre organist Florence De Jong, who was the wife of Lou Morris.
Abraham’s operated the Ritz Cinema for the remainder of its cinematic life and it closed on 1st February 1976 and was converted into a bingo club. Initially operated as an independent bingo club, it became part of the Mecca Bingo Club’s chain in 1979 and continues today.
The Ritz Cinema is a Grade II Listed building.
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