143-147 High Street,
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The Ritz Cinema opened on 22nd February 1937 with Jeanette MacDonald in "San Francisco". It was built for the Segelman family’s Central Pictures (Lincoln) Ltd. Seating was provided for 1,240 in the stalls and 510 in the circle (a total of 1,750 seats). There was a 20 feet deep stage and five dressing rooms. A cafe was attached, for the convenience of patrons and the general public.
In 1941, the Ritz Cinema had minor damage from German bombing. In 1942, a Compton 3Manual/8Rank organ was installed, which was originally installed in the Cameo Cinema, Charing Cross Road, London.
In February 1954, the Ritz Cinema became the first cinema in Lincoln to have CinemaScope installed and the first film to play in this process was Richard Burton in "The Robe". The Ritz Cinema was taken over by the Rank Organisation on 2nd January 1956 and was re-named Odeon on 20th August 1956.
The Odeon was closed on 17th October 1981 and the building remained closed for three years. In 1984, it was taken over by independent exhibitor, Barry Stead, who set about renovating the cinema.
It re-opened as the Ritz Cinema on 15th February 1985 with Walt Disney’s "101 Dalmations", which sold out. On 10th April 1985, it was closed for two weeks to expand the stage to allow more use for live performances. Converted into a triple screen cinema which opened on 28th March 1995 with 485 seats in the former circle and 2 screens in the former stalls, each seating 300.
The Ritz Cinema was closed on 16th March 1996. On 27th May 1998, it opened as a pub in the J.D. Wetherspoon chain named Ritz, using the foyer and stalls area, the former circle and projection areas are closed off and unused.
In the summer of 2013, it was announced the Ritz Cinema will be reopened by the end of 2013, providing a 450-seat cinema in the former circle area, screening the latest Hollywood blockbusters and classic films. However, after a period of delay, the Ritz Cinema re-opened in July 2015. The Ritx Cinema was closed at the end of August 2017.
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