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Built for, and operated by Associated British Cinemas(ABC). The Ritz Cinema opened on 8th May 1939 with Robert Donat in "The Citadel". Leading organist Joseph Seal opened the Compton 3Manual/6Ranks organ.
The Ritz Cinema was another of the numerous ABC circuit cinemas to be designed by their in-house architect W.R. Glen. It had a rather plain, but modern facade over the entrance on Leeds Road, with another entrance around the corner on Broadway. Inside the auditorium seating was provided in stalls and circle levels, surrounded by Art Deco style splendour.
In around 1968, it was re-named ABC, and continued as a single screen cinema until it was closed on 3rd August 1974 with “Remember Me This Way”. It was converted into a triple screen cinema, with a Painted Wagon pub located in the former rear stalls (using the Leeds Road entrance). The three screens, one seating 732 in the former cicle opened on 6th October 1974 with “Stardust”, and the two screens in the former front stalls seating 174 and 163, opened on 18th November 1974 with “Spys” and “The Sting”.
In 1985, it was taken over by the Cannon Group and was re-named Cannon. It was closed on 17th September 1987. The building was demolished in 1989 and an office building erected on the site. This has now been demolished by 2009, and the site will become part of the Westfield Shopping Centre.
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