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Report - Mr Smiths/ Former Ritz Cinema - Warrington - August 2014

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by Dean3988, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Dean3988

    Dean3988 28DL Full Member
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    Bit of history on the site from (http://www.mywarrington.me.uk/)

    The iconic Mr Smiths nightclub at Bridge Foot is set to be demolished in August 2014.

    In July 2014 plans were submitted to Warrington Borough Council by LPC Living Ltd, Salford Quays-based owners of the venue. The borough council says it cannot oppose demolition because the building is not listed or protected by law. The council now has until 11 August 2014 to approve how work to knock down the building should be carried out.
    The venue has been a landmark in the town centre for decades. The building opened in August 1937 as a 1,928 seat cinema and the first film starred Robert Armstrong Without Orders and Chester Morris "I promise to pay."

    Before it was renamed Mr Smiths for the second time in its history, it was known as Halo nightclub. This used to be the ABC cinema, or the Ritz. Famous visitors include world-famous comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, who visited in 1952, not to entertain, but to promote performances in Southport and Liverpool. Local entertainer George Formby, who once resided in Stockton Heath, did perform at the venue. The club was previously known as Synergy, and before that Mr Smiths for the first time.

    Pete Waterman and Michaela Strachen presented the Granada TV music and dance show, The Hitman and Her, from here in the 1980s. In the time between Mr Smiths and the opening as Synergy in March 2008, it was opened for one night a week, usually for school discos. It became Halo in November 2009, but closed in 2010. It reopened once more as Mr Smiths on 1 October 2011 after it was bought at auction in London earlier in 2011.

    Our visit -
    Its been a while since I've last posted on here, but seen as this is in my hometown, and that I live no less than a 5 minute drive from here, it would have been rude not to check this out before it's gone! Visited with a few friends, non 28DL members. Made a couple of visits prior to going in to establish access etc.

    Inside the nightclub it has alot of leftover stuff from the prior various nightclubs that have been operating from there, anything from giant teddy bears to wristbands.

    Capturing the site was quite demanding due to there being absolutely zero light in there, having to rely on the light of others and a headtorch, but i think i managed to get a few decent snaps. Anyway, here we are.

    1-
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    2-
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    3- This scared the living daylight out of me
    [​IMG]

    4- These didnt help either
    [​IMG]

    5- At least someone is having a good time, despite everything
    [​IMG]

    6-
    [​IMG]

    7- Some rooms make it feel like it was closed in the 80/90's
    [​IMG]

    8- This is my best shot, IMO
    [​IMG]

    9- There were hundreds of these matches scattered across the building
    [​IMG]

    10- Another favourite
    [​IMG]

    11-
    [​IMG]

    12-
    [​IMG]

    13- Classy.
    [​IMG]

    14-
    [​IMG]

    15-
    [​IMG]

    16- Couldnt just leave Mr Daniels out
    [​IMG]

    17- In the old cinema, tried to capture the best i could in pitch black conditions
    [​IMG]

    18-
    [​IMG]

    19-
    [​IMG]

    20- Thats all folks!
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for viewing, the rest of the pictures taken can be viewed Here
     
    #1 Dean3988, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014

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  2. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Nice ones :thumb

    Some good shots considering the blackout conditions inside,think you've gone the right way with selective shots :) it surprised a few when we were here just how useless a P7 is in these conditions :banghead

    Any exterior pics ?

    Thought it'd be long gone by now TBH
     
  3. Dean3988

    Dean3988 28DL Full Member
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    Cheers, feedback is much apreciated, not took my camera on an explore in a while so nice to know I've still got the magic touch haha

    I too thought it would have been gone but it hasn't, so it's been done soon as possible before it's too late. I didn't get a shot of the outside but I do intend to go back for another visit as we didn't get to the roof.
     
  4. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    Nobody been up in the loft or under the stage yet? I'm sure there is some interesting cinema stuff hiding in there somewhere!
     
  5. Dean3988

    Dean3988 28DL Full Member
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    Didn't have the time to go to the roof or get under the stage as we had to leave an hour or so in as we had a friend waiting in th car, but we will be doing when we make a return visit
     
  6. zoom zoom

    zoom zoom 28DL Full Member
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    Great Report very interesting & love the photo's ! on photo six is a B&W photo of Mike Smith, former Radio 1 DJ, dies aged 59 who died this August same time as this report !
     
  7. Dean3988

    Dean3988 28DL Full Member
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    Cheers bud!

    Ahh that's good to know, I was curious as to who it was!
     
  8. Milleniumd

    Milleniumd 28DL Full Member
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    Nice work. I think I'm going to have to make a revisit. It's bugging the hell out of me that our visit was disturbed.
     
  9. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    Cool stuff. Looks an interesting place :thumb
     
  10. Earthworm joe

    Earthworm joe 28DL Member
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    I have been here a few times looking for a Poe but cannot seem to find one haha, I really want to take a look inside. Would anyone be kind enough to pm with details of how to get in. Would be greatly appreciate :)
     
  11. Almost_Over

    Almost_Over 28DL Full Member
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    Looks like a good explore!
    So what is the fate of the building now? Another great Art Deco former cinema trashed and then demolished to be replaced with an identikit block of flats? :-(
     
  12. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    P7 would light it ok mate,slightly higher iso but would do the job..

    nice pics btw mate sorry for the detour onto p7's
     
  13. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    As 3 of us had P7"s in here i think i"m fully aware of how ineffective even they can be thanks ;)

    The P7 wasn"t very good due to the high amount of Black, non reflective materials in the roof and wall areas, and the size of area to illuminate.

    Even my 850 Lumen lenser had a hard time of illuminating it TBH and that makes the P7 look like a Maglite :)

    As for raising the ISO it"s the same as for any other settings it"s all dependent on the capabilities of the user & equipment being used...as we know ;)
     
  14. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    must be as black as shit then if its that bad to light..i stand corrected
     
  15. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Honest mate it is, especially in the main section with the big Mirrorball. Don"t know whats on the walls/roof ? like some light absorbent carpet lol

    Mirrorballs easy to light though :D
     
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