Ritz Cinema

694 Wimborne Road,
Winton,
Bournemouth, BH9 2EG

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Ritz in use as a Calor Gas store

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on the 22nd January 1927 as the Victoria Super Cinema. It was the centre piece of a parade of shops known as Victoria Parade in the Winton district of Bournemouth. The cinema’s architect was local man E. de Wilde Holding. The first film shown there was “The Love Thief” starring Norman Kerry and Greta Nissen. Admission to this opening programme was by free complimentary ticket obtainable at the door from 2pm on the opening day.

Although the shopping parade was a speculative build by local business man Thomas Rowley, the operation of the cinema was taken over in the late-1930’s by Portsmouth Town Cinemas. Unfortunately for them, the building was requisitioned at the outbreak of war and was used as an ARP store. It was not released for civilian use until 1948. It closed in 1950 for repair work to be carried out and reopened in October of that year.

Like its near neighbour, the Moderne Cinema, it featured regular talent nights and the weekly Starlight night was always an attraction for local amateurs. The Ritz closed on 25th April 1959 with the Norman Wisdom film “One Good Turn”

It then remained boarded up for a number of years until it was converted into a Calor Gas store and showroom. At this time the stalls floor was levelled in order to accommodate industrial storage racking which was on two levels and must have involved the removal of the small balcony. It was later used as a parts store for the local Rover cars main dealer. Demolished in 2007, flats and town houses now stand on the site although the former entrance on the main Wimborne Road is still extant.

Contributed by John Thornley
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