Bygones: Putting on the Ritz for Cliff
CLEETHORPES is the destination for this week's Then and Now feature, writes Dave Strickland.
Here we recall a sadly missed cinema which was sited in Grimsby Road, Cleethorpes, in front of the Blundell Park football ground.
This is the imposing Ritz which was erected in 1937 in the state-of-the-art building style of the times.
The cinema lasted only 45 years and closed in 1982, the site subsequently being taken over by the drive-in fast food outlet, McDonald's.
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The view of the cinema was taken shortly after it was built.
The Ritz was one of four ABC cinemas in Grimsby/Cleethorpes, and was renamed ABC Cleethorpes in 1959.
It was originally built by Union Cinemas, a company which soon ran into financial difficulties, which led to ABC taking over.
Its size largely obscured the view of the stand of the football ground behind, but which is now immediately visible to passers-by.
It had as many as 1,450 seats on two levels, and was the venue for many famous artists and entertainment figures, including Morecambe and Wise and Cliff Richard.
It was demolished in 1993 in the face of efforts by many local people to save it and turn it into a theatre.
McDonald's lost no time in erecting its new business on the site, bringing in fully grown trees on trucks in order to landscape the surroundings.
I am indebted to Ray Emsley for much of the information about the Ritz cinema.