The Ritz, Brighouse

The Ritz Cinema was the first purpose-built cinema in Brighouse.

It stands on the site of a house known as Brooklands, at the junction of Bradford Road and Bonegate Road.

It was opened by Mayor John Cheetham on 15th March 1937. It was on the ABC circuit.

In June 1961, it closed as a cinema and – for 6 months – opened for bingo. The cinema closed in 1963.

In 1965, the Casino and Theatre club opened for gaming and stage shows.

This closed in 1970.

In 1970, it re-emerged as the Tropicana Night Club.

For a time, it was a night club, the Stardust Showbar.

It became a ballroom in 1981.

In 1996, a 1937 Wurlitzer Organ was installed – this had previously been at the Trinity Arts Centre, Pudsey. The organ is owned by the Cinema Organ Society. Details can be found in the National Pipe Organ Register.

The building is now a concert hall and ballroom, and is frequently used as a setting for films and TV programmes.

In November 2005, the hall was put on the market as the owners wanted to retire.

There were suggestions that it could be demolished and flats – we always need more of those! – built on the site.

In November 2006, the owners were approached by a group of developers who want to build retirement flats on the site.

The Wurlizter organ was put into storage and in 2008, it was installed at the Victoria Hall, Saltaire.

In December 2014, it was announced that Glenn Smith had acquired the property, and intended to continue its use as a place of entertainment.

In February 2017, the owners of the Ritz Hotel in London demanded that the ballroom change its name. It is now known as Venue 73 [December 2017]

© Malcolm Bull 2020
Revised 07:49 /20th February 2020 / mmr1067 / 3825

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