Ritz Cinema

Market Street,
Crewe, CW1

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Located on Co-operative Street, which today does not exist due to re-development. The Co-operative Hall was built and opened in 1900. At that time, it was the main entertainment venue in Crewe, and presented variety performances and by 1909 also films. Seating was provided for 1,400, the stage was 18 feet deep, the proscenium 30 feet wide, and there were two dressing rooms.

In 1918 it was refurbished and re-named Kino. By 1934, it had been re-named King Picture House. The King Picture House was closed on 2nd April 1960 with Martine Carrol in “The Stowaways” and Vincent Price in “The Bat”.

A year later, it was taken over by the Leeds based Star Cinemas chain. After a 20,000 Pound refurbishment, it re-opened as the Ritz Cinema, with a reduced seating capacity of 727. Re-opening with James Robertson Justice & Leslie Phillips in “Raising the Wind” on 19th October 1961, with Leslie Phillips making a personal appearance.

The Ritz Cinema was closed on 28th August 1983 with Irene Cara in “Fame” and Olivia Newton John in “Xanadu”. It was demolished in a redevelopment of the entire area, the site of the former cinema is now a car park off West Street by the shopping mall.

Contributed by Shaun Green, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

bla
bla on October 30, 2017 at 10:55 am

I’m not aware that the cinema was re-named from Kino to King. Both my parents and a lot of other people, including the old chief projectionist from the Ritz always stated that it was the Kino right up until its closure prior to the Star Group lease on the building in 1961. I even have some original correspondence from the Star Group from 1961 which refers to “the former Kino Cinema” discussing such things as the refurbishment including an interesting debate as to whether the gas secondary lighting should be retained or removed. I suspect the researcher may have been misled by a typographical error. What is the provenance for the information relating to the Kin(g)o please?

PS They did decide to take the gas out, although the original gas lighting fittings remained backstage in the old dressing rooms. A new battery secondary lighting installation was fitted in the right-hand under staircase area accessed from the ground floor gents toilet.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 31, 2017 at 5:28 am

bia: It was listed in editions of Kine Yearbook 1934 & 1937 as the King Picture Theatre (could have been a typo, but if so, would(should) have been corrected over the years). By 1944 it was listed as the Kino

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