Monday, 11 May 2015

The Ritz Cinema in Thirsk

We went to the pictures last night. It was a most entertaining evening. Not only for the hard-hitting story line and superb acting in 'X + Y', but also for the venue – the Ritz Cinema in Thirsk.
Entrance of the Ritz Cinema, Thirsk.
The cinema has an interesting history, having started life in Victorian times as a Mechanics' Institute where the working class would go to educate themselves from books in the library or attending lectures. It opened as a cinema in 1912 and passed through various stages of rise and decline. One of its most successful periods was during the Second World War when it rivalled Thirsk's other cinema, The Regent, for the patronage of the airmen stationed in the area.

The Regent has gone. The Ritz has been reborn as a result of the enthusiasm of Thirsk Town Council and several local volunteers. It is now run as a not-for-profit organisation.
The ticket lady and the refreshment lady.
What beautiful smiles.

First, we bought our tickets at the booth and then our ice cream tickets from the refreshment lady who delivered the ice cream to us personally during the film as the distributors did not allow an intermission.

Up the stairs to the balcony.

We decided to sit in the balcony. The seat price was the same throughout – £5. So up the stairs we went.

The seating was comfortable and the leg room extraordinarily generous. I always sit at the end of the row to be able to stretch my legs out into the aisle but at the Ritz, this was unnecessary.

View from the balcony rail.

The cinema has been re-equipped with full Dolby surround sound and digital projection but the original silent film screen still remains, hidden behind the new screen.

The next time you are in the area, you must go to the Ritz cinema to experience real 'picture-going' as it used to be. With friendly staff and all the latest releases at seat prices of £5, you really cannot go wrong.

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