ABC Keighley

38 Alice Street,
Keighley, BD21 3DA

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Following the take over of Union Cinemas by Associated British Cinemas, a number of theatres planned and started by Union opened under the ABC control, including the Ritz Cinema in the northern town of Keighley which opened on 28th February 1938.

Seating 1,526 and provided with a Compton 3Manual/5Rank organ and small variety stage the Ritz Cinema was the most luxurious theatre in the area and it even had the facility of a cafe-restaurant which seated 100. It was designed by the well respected firm of Verity & Beverley with Sam Beverley acting as the chief architect for the scheme.

It was renamed ABC on 30th July 1971 and showed its last film on 2nd February 1974, its end apparently hastened by the fuel crisis which crippled the UK at that time.

Eventually it was converted to Bingo and remains in that mode to this day as a Gala Bingo Club. A false floor has been constructed at balcony level but above that the Ritz survives unaltered. Alice Street is a side road near to the town centre but just far enough off the beaten track – so the site has not yet proved attractive to developers.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ian
Ian on January 27, 2006 at 4:09 am

Photo (as bingo hall) here:

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JohnnyCrow
JohnnyCrow on July 5, 2007 at 5:30 am

I saw Paint Your Waggon with my Grandma when I was about 10 years old

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm

The ABC, photographed in February 1974, just after closing as a cinema:
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buzzer999
buzzer999 on January 31, 2014 at 12:55 pm

My father, Alfred Busfield, used to be a projectionist here in the 1950s, I used to be a member of the ‘ABC Minors’ club.

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