Church Street East and Chobham Road,
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Firms: Verity and Beverley
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Ritz Cinema
Located on Church Street East at the corner of Chobham Road in the town centre of Woking, Surrey. The Ritz Cinema was opened on 12th April 1937 with “The Texas Rangers” plus a mini-variety bill on stage and Harold Ramsay playing the 3Manual/6Ranks Compton organ. Later resident organists include Harold Coombs and Arthur Lord. It was built for and operated by the Union Cinemas chain. The Ritz Cinema had a café for the convenience of its patrons.
Union Cinemas were taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain in October 1937. The Ritz Cinema was re-named ABC in 1962. In April 1972, the ABC was closed for conversion into a smaller 495-seat cinema in the former circle, and a bingo club in the former stalls area. It re-opened on 13th July 1972. In August 1978, a 78-seat ABC 2 cinema opened in the former café area, and this operated using video, rather than film stock.
Both screens closed on 4th September 1982, but the bingo club downstairs continued to operate until 1987. The building was demolished in 1988 and Hollywood House office building now stands on the site.
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