The Ritz Cinema & Ballroom
My thanks to Mr Bill Muldowney
for providing me with some these photos.
- The Ritz Cinema 1989
- Source: The Nationalist "Carlow Changes"
The same building in 2009
The Ritz Cinema 1972. Outside is a 1972 Vauxhall
Viva. 2 door.
- Sent in by Peter Walker Oct 2013.
Nationalist and Leinster Times.
Carlow's Magnificent New
Formal opening ceremony by celebrated screen actress.
new Carlow Cinema, The Ritz, was filled to its utmost capacity on
Saturday night when the formal opening ceremony by Miss Diana Wynyard,
the celebrated stage and screen actress.
was given a most enthusiastic reception when she appeared on the stage
accompanied by Mr. M. J. Deasy, Managing Director and Mr. Valentine
Mr. Deasy said
he regretted the absence of Mr. Scott, the Architect, who was at present
engaged on professional business in America.
Mr. Deasy paid
a warm tribute to him and to the contractors D. J. Carbery, Ltd. Athy
and Carlow, on the splendid consummation of the work of erection of the
who was introduced by Mr. Deasy, received a great ovation. She said she
was very glad to come to Carlow to perform the opening ceremony.
congratulated the people of Carlow on having one of the most beautiful
luxurious and up-to-date Cinema Theatres in the country. She was sure
the Carlow audiences would always appreciate the films shown here.
Mr. Miley said
they all appreciated the great kindness of Miss Wynyard in coming there
at great personal inconvenience to formally open the Cinema, and as a
small mark of their appreciation he wished on behalf of the Directors to
present her with a pair of book-ends in Connemara marble suitably
light and artistic colour scheme of the interior was very favorably
From a sound
point of view the building is as acoustically perfect as it could be.
of the actors on the screen could be distinctly heard from all parts of
feature of the opening was a mannequin parade under the direction of
Madam Brennan, South Anne Street, Dublin. Several beautiful designs in
evening gowns were exhibited.
decorations in the balcony, foyer and main entrance, which were a
veritable work of art, were carried out by A. L. Spiers, Burtown
conclusion of the programme an informal reception was held in the Foyer,
at which a large number of guests were present from Dublin, Carlow, and
Films showing at the Ritz in
Above are the adverts that
appeared in the Carlow Nationalist newspapers each week telling you what
pictures were being shown at the Ritz that week.
|Source: Bill Muldowney and Merry
Kelly (nee Nolan)
- The Ritz
Cinema and Crotty's Bakery c1968
- (Photo W. Muldowney c1968)
The Ritz Cinema opened in 1939.
A Hollywood actor came all the way over from America for the opening
ceremony. Admission price to the
pits cost 4d. In 1941 the Ritz management decided to raise this to 7d . 'Holy murder', pickets came from Graigue, and stood at the
Pit door so no person were allowed to go through.
Their argument was that no tax was payable on 4d, but above that
incurred a tax of 2d. So they were only getting 1d extra. Three weeks later, the
increase was scrapped.
The projectionist at the Ritz for many years was
Joe Carter of Burrin St, Carlow -Source:
- The front entrance to the Ritz Cinema on Tullow
- The Ballroom was down the side road on the left in Charlotte
- (Photo W. Muldowney)
(Photo W. Muldowney c1967 & 2006)
Here we have the side entrance in Charlotte Street to the Ritz Cinema
'Pit seats' in 1967. Further down on the right hand side
is the Ritz Ballroom.
P.J. Tierney and his orchestra was one of the many bands that
would have played here during the 60's. He was also did regular
appearances at the
Crofton Hotel Ballroom
The van on the left is delivering to Atkinsons Bicycle
Shop in Charlotte Street. This was where he used to store bicycles. The main
shop entrance was in Tullow Street.
Michael Scott (Architect)
During the Second World
War, or the 'Emergency' as it was called in neutral Ireland, Scott's
practice operated out of accommodation in Clare Street, Dublin. It
survived on small commissions such as cinemas in Athlone and Clonmel
and interiors of public bars. Building materials and money were in
short supply and architects were hard hit. The artist Louis le
Brocquy (born 1916) who produced work for Scott during these years
... things were not easy
for Michael either, as might be expected of an inspired contemporary
architect who repeatedly refused to compromise his growing vision, a
revelatory vision of plastic rectitude, of pure, unsentimental,
Scott had been known to
walk away from commissions that he did not find challenging or
interesting. Increasingly he was passing on work and commissions
that he had received to young graduate architects whose work he
admired. The Ritz Cinema in Athlone (1939) is a case in point.
Although the design of the Ritz Cinema Carlow was attributed to
Michael Scott it was in fact designed by Bill O'Dwyer who was
working and studying in the office at that time. While it is
impossible for a successful architect to fully design all the
buildings that come into his practice, Scott seems to have produced
only rough sketches for the project leaving O'Dwyer to design the
building. O'Dwyer was to be responsible for many of the cinema
commissions undertaken by the firm in these years including two
other Ritz cinemas at Carlow and Clonmel which opened in 1940
The Ritz Cinema & Ballroom
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