Ritz Cinema

Wheatley Lane,
Ovenden, HX3

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Additional Info

Previous Names: Pioneer Picture House

Nearby Theaters

In the village of Ovenden, about a mile from the centre of Halifax, in the Calderdale area of West Yorkshire, Ovenden Pioneer Picture Company Ltd. was registered on 30th May 1921, with a capital of £12,000.

The Pioneer Picture House duly opened that same year (the precise opening date is not known) with 700 seats. The building was not purpose-built, the cinema having been created out of an existing club.

When the talkies arrived, a British Thomson-Houston(BTH) sound system was installed.

In 1954 the cinema was renamed the Ritz Cinema.

On 23rd February 1963, in the early hours, three hours after it had closed for the evening, the Ritz Cinema was destroyed by fire. The manager, Mr Watkinson, who lived in the basement apartment, had discovered the blaze and had tried to tackle it with a hose reel, but was driven back by the flames. He, his wife and their three children were rescued and found temporary accommodation by the Halifax Welfare Department.

The Ritz Cinema was not rebuilt. For the record, the final films were “Battle Hymn”, starring Rock Hudson, and a Russian space drama, “Blazing a Trail to the Stars”.

Contributed by David Simpson
You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.