The Ritz Cinema Keighley

I have just been re-reading an earlier article I did about the late, great Gerald Parkes – Cinema Owner, Entrepeneur and a man with an unrivalled knowledge of films and the cinema over many decades.

Gerald Parkes

He became one of the youngest Cinema Managers in 1969 at the Ritz Cinema in Keighley

THIS view of Keighley’s Ritz Cinema can be dated to a week in mid-April of 1952 when it ran the “best film of the year”, the Academy Award-winning An American in Paris, starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, with music by George and Ira Gershwin.

A special showing was put on for Easter Monday, starting at 10.40 in the morning.

The Ritz opened in 1938 and the first Film shown was the classic ‘Lost Horizon’ with Ronald Colman

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 café-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

A stage and dressing rooms were intended for variety shows. Indeed, the Ritz would later accommodate productions of the Keighley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society.

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