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Report - The Ritz cinema/Mr Smiths nightclub. Warrington. July 2014.

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by Telf, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Telf

    Telf 28DL Regular User
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    Visited with Will Knot, Acid reflux and Urblex, cheers lad's :thumb

    I was excited to see this place being in my hometown, I've always looked at the building from childhood wondering what it was like inside, then in to my teens me and all my mates used to end up in here throughout the nineties.

    Not the best set of pic's tbh, Zero light in there but worth sharing.

    Some borrowed history..

    The Ritz Cinema was built and opened by the Union Cinemas chain on 23rd August 1937 with Robert Armstrong in "Without Orders" and Chester Morris in "I Promise to Pay". On stage was Macari and His Dutch Accordian Serenaders, and organist Alex Taylor opened the Compton 3Manual/6Rank organ, which had a Melotone attached and its illuminated console was on a lift. The Ritz Cinema also had a cafe for the convenience of its patrons.

    The Ritz Cinema was taken over, together with all Union Cinemas, by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in October 1937. It was re-named ABC in 1958.

    The ABC was closed on 19th August 1972 for conversion into a bingo club in the former stalls area and a 474 seat cinema in the former balcony, which opened on 7th December 1972. A small second screen seating 90, opened in the former cafe area in November 1980 which had video projection.

    The cinemas closed on 23rd October 1982, followed soon after by the bingo club closing. The former bingo club became a nightclub named Mr Smiths. In June 2004, the local authority requested that due to the redevelopment of the riverfront, the Ritz Cinema should be considered for listing as an historic building, however nothing seems to have come out of this. Mr Smiths became Synergy in March 2008 when new owners took over. In late-2009 it became the Halo nightclub, and later traded back under the name Mr Smiths until closing a few years back.

    The building is due to be demolished on August 11th this year, the Warrington people have a kicked up a stink but as the buildings not listed etc it's gonna happen :(


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    3. I'd heard of drunks squatting on site, however We didn't encounter any even though the evidence was there.
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    8. On the upper floor, the only remains of one of the old cinemas all the seats and projection gear gone, but nice to see some features still remain.
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    9. Then on to the roof for a view of Warrington town
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    10.
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    Thanks for looking Telf..
     

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  2. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    Good to see someone got a bit further...

    Fly tower? Circle loft? Main loft? Thats where the epic will lie my friend!
     
  3. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    Nice one Young Telf, it aint got long left to stand now then :(
     
  4. georgie

    georgie He Never Even Got There
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    Nice one mate sorry i couldnt make this
     
  5. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Nice report and pics there my friend :thumb
     
  6. the126

    the126 Reckless & irresponsible
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    Looks really nice, well done :thumb
     
  7. warilad1

    warilad1 28DL Full Member
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    hi guys , love the pics, great to see you got a pic of the cinema upstairs, watched many films up there when i was a kid, jaws, superman ,grease , wondered did you get any pics of the cafe area and the projection room , if you did be great if you could post them on here:)
     
  8. Telf

    Telf 28DL Regular User
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    Hey, the projection room was bare with just squares in one wall, the cafe was full of Xmas decorations and general rubbish not much of the old splendour left.
     
  9. warilad1

    warilad1 28DL Full Member
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    i see , any more pics of the cinema bud?.
     
  10. Telf

    Telf 28DL Regular User
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    I haven't mate, didn't come out too well. There's a very good chance one of the other 3 will have a report up shortly :thumb
     
  11. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Nice this mate :thumb
     
  12. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Nice ones Telf :thumb

    I thought you'd have lots of pics of Golden Cherubs :)

    Blackout conditions with dark and black painted walls, floors & roof was not very conducive to great pictures :(

    I"ve got some good ones of the Cinema side but even I struggled in the main nightclub area with the big Mirror Ball even with my Head torch, it was like the decor absorbed the light :rolleyes:

    Good time though and you'd chilled out by then .........must have been the heat lol
     
  13. Telf

    Telf 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers for comments guy's :thumb
     
  14. Milleniumd

    Milleniumd 28DL Full Member
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    Good work. I know what you had to do to get in here. Love the photos of a) the cinema. We didn't get this far. B) the photo with Mike Smith. C) the main dance floor with the mirror ball. This is where it went wrong for us and we had to get out. Thanks for posting.
     
  15. urblex

    urblex 28DL Maverick
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    Nice pics mate & nice one for this :thumb if it wasn't for your determination we wouldn't of got in & really glad we did :D
     
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