76B King Street,
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Ritz Cinema - Belper (Official)
Previously operated by: Star Cinemas
Built for £3,500 in 1882 as the Belper Public Hall. It was constructed for The Public Hall Company. This municipal building was used as a court, library, theatre and meeting hall. It began screening films part-time in 1919 using a rear projection system. In 1935 it was converted into a full time cinema, the work of Haines Builders who raked the floor in the stalls and created a balcony giving a seating capacity of 720. It had a 22ft wide proscenium and was equipped with a British Thomson-Houston(BTH) sound system. It reopened as the Ritz Cinema and was owned and operated by the Morley family, who also owned and operated the Palace Cinema in Belper. The building included shops on the frontage with a centre door to the box office and foyer. By 1954 the Ritz Cinema & the Palace Cinema were both operated by the Leeds based Star Cinemas chain.
In 1971 it was converted into a twin-screen cinema. Soon after the stalls were converted into a bingo club and twin screen cinemas operated in the former circle. Each screen had 75-seats. It was taken over by Silverline and they closed the Ritz Cinema in October 1991.
On 3rd November 2006 it was taken over by new operators and the circle was reverted back to a single auditorium, with bingo continuing downstairs. Seating is provided for 99, with 18 luxury seats, 4 sofas for two and 73 standard seats. Projection is by a Christie CP4220 4K projector and a Dolby CP70 sound processor (7.1). The screen is 8.2 metres x 3.43 (common height). There is a fully licenced bar, which also serves coffee & tea, home-made cakes and other cinema concessions.
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