Ritz Cinema

96 Abbey Street,
Nuneaton, CV11 5BX

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Union Cinema Co. Ltd.

Architects: Samuel Beverley, Francis Thomas Verity

Firms: Verity and Beverley

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: ABC

Nearby Theaters

Ritz Cinema Interior

The Ritz Cinema opened on 23rd July 1937 with James Melton in "Melody for Two" and James Dunn in "Mysterious Crossing", plus a live show on-stage. Located on the corner of Abbey Street and Newtown Road (now Jubilee Way), it was built for, and was initially operated by the Union Cinemas circuit, but they were taken over in October 1937 by Associated British Cinemas(ABC).

The Ritz Cinema is an imposing building on an island site, with a brick exterior. Seating in the auditorium was provided in stalls and balcony levels and there is some excellent detailed fibrous plasterwork. It was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/6Rank organ (with Melotone attachment) that had an illuminated console and was opened by Alex Taylor. The organ chambers were located above the proscenium, which had a decorative grille across the top. The cinema was re-furbished in the 1950’s and was re-named ABC from 13th November 1961.

Closed as the ABC on 29th October 1977 with "Exorist II", it was taken over by an independent operator the following day and re-named Ritz Cinema. The Ritz was twinned from 27th December 1979, with screen 1 using the balcony and front stalls area, and the 200 seat, screen 2 located in the former rear stalls under the balcony. In 1982, a small fire did damage to screen 2, but it was quickly repaired and re-opened.

The Ritz Cinema closed on 18th June 1984 and the building was sold to new owners. It was completely redecorated and refurbished and re-opened as the Ritz Bingo Club. Last operated as a Gala Bingo Club, it was closed in 2007, and remains empty and unused.

The building was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage in October 2008.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Ian on November 16, 2010 at 9:47 am

Two photos of the Ritz taken in November 2010, the building is boarded up and is for sale with a national retailer apparently interested in the building.



The English Heritage listing report can be viewed here – some good indication of the style of the building:–

View link

Mike_Blakemore on October 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm

This was a regular relief for me… I usually got relief duties when there was advance boooking going on.. Wrestling, odd concerts and am.. Pantos….

KitGreen on November 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Restoration plans and a history of The Ritz http://www.nuneatonhistory.com/uploads/1/8/6/8/18680466/the_ritzthe_future.pdf

Ken Loach backs Nuneaton Ritz cinema restoration plan. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-24929432

Peter Lea
Peter Lea on January 30, 2016 at 11:04 pm

Please Note* A Book “The Auditorium” is available and covers the cinemas of Nuneaton and also the other cinemas of North Warwickshire including Atherstone, Chapel End, Arley Bedworth Coleshill, Attleborough and Stockingford.

Ian on June 30, 2018 at 8:31 am

Eight years since I was last in Nuneaton and little – other than increased vandalism – seems to have happened at the Ritz. Photos from June 2018



70mmbobbyj on May 17, 2019 at 8:31 pm

It appears that this building is not secure, There is a new report on The Derelict places website. The explorers found easy access to the building.

Dez1977 on November 18, 2022 at 8:38 pm

I’m enjoying going through the old Nuneaton Tribune newspapers at the moment, from Dec 1976-Jan 1985, and there seems to have been a third screen in operation at the Ritz, running from mid-December 1981 (starting with a re-issue of “Superman: The Movie” followed by “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”) as you can see in the newspaper advertising from that time, and after. Could a 3rd screen have been created from dividing Screen 2 into two parts? Interesting that only two weeks after “screen 3” films had started to be advertised, they stopped for a few weeks. I wonder if that was because of the fire that is mentioned above?

Can anyone confirm the third screen, please? Thanks!

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