The sad sight of the front of the Ritz cinema building in Braehead Street, Oatlands, 1960s. The photograph was taken prior to the building's demolition to make way for new housing.
Designed by William Beresford Inglis, the building opened as the Hippodrome variety theatre in 1921. It was built of red sandstone and contained an auditorium with ornate floral decorations. The proprietors began showing silent films soon after the theatre's opening, with accompaniment from the orchestra. Some famous stars appeared on the stage after it was taken over by Bernard Frutin in 1925, but it became a full-time cinema in 1929 after the installation of sound equipment.
In 1931 the Hippodrome was sold to ABC, who commissioned Charles McNair to renovate the building and then renamed it the Ritz. It was never a commercial success, often showing films which had already had a long run elsewhere. The Ritz became one of the earliest victims of the television boom when it was closed in 1961.
Reference: Glasgow City Archives, P1987
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
ABC, Associated British Cinemas, cinemas, films, Hippodrome, Ritz, theatres, variety