Odeon Aldershot

High Street,
Aldershot, GU11 1DJ

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Ritz Aldershot

Viewing: Photo | Street View

A classic Art Deco style cinema which opened as the Ritz Cinema on 15th May 1937. It was built by Union Theatres who were taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain in October 1937. It originally had a Wurlitzer 3Maual/7Ranks organ installed which was opened by Harold Ramsay.

The Ritz Theatre was built to compete with the Empire Cinema next door. Like the Empire Cinema, it staged variety shows as well as movies and in the mid-1960’s staged pop shows starring Gene Pitney, Cilla Black, etc.

It was split into three screens in the 1970’s. It was closed in July 2003. This is a fine example of an Art Deco style provincial ‘super cinema’ worthy of preservation.

Contributed by Mike Luck

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 28, 2010 at 9:17 am

Vintage photographs of the Ritz Cinema, and its Wurlitzer organ console:
http://www.ukwurlitzer.co.cc/2206.html

ritzman
ritzman on January 1, 2013 at 5:52 am

12 photos added under the photo tab. Anybody have an photos of the original single screen auditorium pre conversion to 3 screens?

ritzman
ritzman on January 1, 2013 at 5:56 am

Can we please have this listed as the Ritz Theatre please? The Ritz was only renamed Odeon after it came under the control of Cineven when they bought the revived ABC brand in the late 1990’s The original Odeon (formerly County Cinemas Empire Theatre) was next door!

ritzman
ritzman on October 21, 2013 at 10:14 am

Here is a link to YouTube and an interview with the last projectionist. This is 1 of 3 films and interestingly has some shots of some of the decorative plaster on the ceiling of the rear circle that became the new projection box after conversion from single screen to bingo and 3 screens in the former circle.All 3 films are worth a watch just to see how poor the projection facilities were after conversion: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m-t1iry3eSk

ritzman
ritzman on May 31, 2014 at 1:12 pm

2 New photos uploaded:original auditorium before brutal butchering into 3 screens and bingo.

ritzman
ritzman on June 17, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Another shot of the original Verity & Beverly designed auditorium in the photo section.

ritzman
ritzman on June 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm

4 new photos added: Jimmy Hendrix, Roy Orbison, Jasper Bartwell at the Ritz Wurlitzer & pop show poster from 1960’s

ritzman
ritzman on June 20, 2014 at 4:11 pm

1 more photo added

ritzman
ritzman on October 19, 2014 at 12:01 pm

New photo added. Still named Ritz but under ABC control. Easter Parade showing, and exterior of the cinema decorated for the opening of the film – complete with military band.

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