Kensington Cinema

Thorne, DN8

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Star Cinemas

Functions: Housing

Previous Names: Kensington Palace Cinema, Ritz Cinema

Nearby Theaters

kensington cinema 27th november 2011

Located in Thorne, a small town to the north-east of Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The Kensington Palace Cinema was opened on 4th April 1927 with seating provided for 1,000 in stalls and circle levels. It had a 20 feet wide proscenium and the cinema had a cafe.

Taken over by Star Cinemas of Leeds in 1967 and re-named Ritz Cinema, it was closed shortly afterwards in September 1967 and became a Star Bingo Club. Its last use was as a nightclub named ‘Merlin’s’, which had closed by 1998. Since then the building was unused and empty, and became increasingly derelict.

Sadly, in 2011 most of the auditorium was demolished, leaving just the facade and foyer area standing. In 2012, the building was being converted into residential use, and the work was being filmed for the Channel 4 reality TV show ‘Grand Designs’, transmitted on 4th September 2013.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

AdoraKiaOra on March 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm

That looks like a set for a very sad movie!

abcman on March 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm

The Kensington opened on Monday 4th April 1927 with seating for 1000. In 1967 Star Cinemas converted the cinema into a luxury entertainments centre for films, bingo and social centre. It reopened as the Ritz with ‘My Fair Lady’ but as Ken says, by September the last film was shown. I believe the bingo carried on for a while longer.

keiths on December 7, 2009 at 9:09 am

This is even BEYOND being sad. How can local authorities allow this kind of dereliction without intervening? There should be laws in place enabling councils to slap heavy fines on owners who allow their property to get into this sort of state.

gwynap on July 19, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Hi, we’re making the cinema into a family home. check our progress at

gwynap on July 19, 2012 at 11:35 pm

It’s also being filmed for Grand Designs

chelseaselvatico on July 13, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Hi Gwyn, you and your wife did such a wonderful job to this building, I saw it on grand designs :) nice family!!! all the best!!!

davidcoppock on April 18, 2017 at 3:19 am

The episode of Grand designs showed one(maybe 2?) old black and white photos of the Kensington Cinema!

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