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The Ritz Cinema opened on 27th July 1936. It was designed by architect A.H. Jones and was originally planned by the independent owners of the Pavillion Cinema in the town. However, before it was completed it was taken over by the Union Cinemas Ltd. chain.
There is a decorative fin-sign over the entrance and the auditorium runs parallel to the street. The 1,000 seat capacity was all on a single floor. There were decorative grilles on each side of the 40 feet wide proscenium opening. The Ritz Cinema was equipped with a Compton 2Manual/4Rank organ which had an illuminated console located on a lift in the orchestra pit. It was opened by noted organist Reginald Foort. Union Cinemas were taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in October 1937.
The Ritz Cinema was taken over by Mecca Ltd. on 28th June 1965 and closed as a cinema on 17th July 1965. It was converted into a Mecca Bingo Club and remained in this use in later years as the Ritz Bingo Club, which closed in 2008.
In December 2006, plans had been approved to demolish the building and construct housing on the site. Several arts events were held in the building, but it mainly lay empty and unused. In June 2013, it was purchased by Merlin Cinemas, who operate the towns' Savoy Cinema, and they are planning future use for the Ritz Cinema.
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