Date building was opened: 1900.
Date Closed: 28th August 1982.
Original Seating Capacity: 1400.
Final film shown: “Fame”.
The Co-operative Hall in Co-operative Street Crewe opened in 1900 seating 1200. In 1910 a Mr Pendleton hired the hall for his film shows called Pendleton’s Talking Pictures. It seems Mr Pendleton hired people with a clear voice to talk over pictures. By 1917 a Mr George Hand was running films there and named it The Kino. The first film that was sound on disc was called “Conquest”, which ran from the 16th December 1929. A sound system called Syntock was installed. In 1931 it was equipped with RCA Photophone.
The first film screened using this was “The Vagabond King”. In 1932 George Hand’s son Arthur took control after the death of his father in the November.
On the 19th October 1961 following a makeover the Kino became the Ritz and was run by the Star group of cinemas. The cost of the conversion was around twenty thousand pounds. One new feature was wall to wall apple green satin curtains.
The curtains were illuminated in pageant lighting and the auditorium itself was illuminated with large contemporary chandeliers. New seating consisted of gold crushed velvet Ambassador seats
The first feature to be projected was the comedy “Raising The Wind” starring Leslie Philips. He made a visit at the opening.
Projection equipment was the BTH SUPA Mk 1 with xenon lamp conversion. It also had the projectomatic type 0 system, which just did changeovers. For scope presentation Wray varamorph lenses were used. Apparently the Wray lenses absorbed a lot of light so films with red titles were barely legible and images tended to be poorly lit. In 1978 the equipment was changed to Westar with a tower system. The first film projected with the new installation was “Superman”, screened from the 24th December for a three week run.
In 1970 the manager a Mr Denis De Meza was named by Star as Salesman of the Year. He had previously been the manager of the Picture House Rawtenstall in Lancashire.
When Star took control a new projection area was constructed three feet higher than the previous one. The chief operator was a Mr Brian Roscroe.
The cinema closed on the 28th August 1982 with the film “Fame” and the building was demolished.
David A Ellis & Bryan Lindop©chestercinemas.co.uk