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ABC Cinema, Vicar Lane


ABC Cinema, Vicar Lane
Description:
1970. View showing the ABC Cinema on Vicar Lane. The Cinema opened on 19th November 1934 as the Ritz Cinema. The name changed to the ABC on 23rd May 1959. The photograph dates from when the ABC was re-opened as a twin cinema, on 5th April 1970, with showings of 'Paint Your Wagon' and 'Spring and Port Wine'. It then became the first triple cinema in Leeds when the former stalls area of ABC 2 was divided. The triple opened on Sunday 17th March 1974 with showings of 'The Sting', 'Paper Moon' and 'Walking Tall'. The cinema changed its name to the Cannon in March 1987, then to M.G.M. in 1991 with a reversal to the ABC in 1993. The final closure of the cinema was reported in the Evening Post as 17th February 2000, although, it said, closure had been 'on the cards' since Christmas.

User Comments:

Name:
Tommy Wardle

Comment:
Did not the before reverting back to ABC have a brief period under the Warner Bros name?

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Name:
Guy Hatton

Comment:
Worth noting that this building has recently been demolished. (2006)

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Name:
peter walton

Comment:
below the right hand ABC sign was a bar called the gemini bar..also since demolition the building to the right is exposed having lost part of its facade showing to be of 18c origin april 2006

Email:
stophabit@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
Martin Cossins

Comment:
The cinema never ran under the Warner Brothers name. I worked there for nearly 30 years from 1971 to closure and to my knowledge the owners during that time were EMI, the Alan Bond Organisation (for 2 weeks!), Cannon, MGM, ABC Cinemas (not the same company as the ABC Cinemas pre-1970) and on the week it closed the Odeon Cinema chain were the owners.

Email:
mac.hawk@ntlworld.com

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Name:
John Hall

Comment:
I worked as a apprentice electrician for Rice's Electrical, doing the conversion from single to twin cinema. I also went to the opening night and watched 'Paint your wagon'

Date:
09-Feb-2009

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Name:
brian thomas

Comment:
My favourite ever film is 'Dr, Zhivago' I first saw it in this Cinema with my brother and sister in law, circa 1965? I remember spending a lot of time in the local library afterwards discovering more Russian history.

Date:
04-Jul-2009

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Name:
B Hallam

Comment:
Viewers of this 1970 photograph, should take a look at image ID 9099, and see what it looked like in 1870.

Date:
25-Jan-2010

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Name:
rayd

Comment:
The last time I went to this cinema it was called the Ritz. I hate to think how many years ago that was, but I'm still looking forward to someone reminding me

Date:
17-Mar-2010

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Name:
brian thomas

Comment:
In 1959 the facade was 'modernised' by a covering of sheets of metal cladding and a light-box sign was installed to display the film titles. The Ritz was re-named ABC from 25th May 1959.

Date:
14-Jun-2010

Email:
helensdad@mac.com

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Name:
Mac.Hawk

Comment:
I wouldn't really argue too much with the main thrust of this article other than to say that 'the closure had been on the cards since Christmas' was widely innaccurate. The closure had been on the cards for a number of years prior to the eventual event due to a total lack of investment (in everything really, equipment, staff, furnishings etc) from the owners and a total failure in the ability to try to compete with the invading American multiplexes. The eventual demise into cheap tickets and flea pit appearance was a disaster and fortunately the cinema was put out of it's misery. It was a shame as Screen One was once a really good cinema (70mm facility, pretty good sized screen and excellent sound). Screen 2 was Ok but once hacked into 2 & 3 in 1974 it was never the same. I speny nearly 30 years in the projection boxes at this cinema and whilst at the end I was happy to see it all go I had many happy years here (and I also got to know Joan Valentine - a living legend in her time at this cinema - once met, never forgot)

Date:
15-Oct-2010

Email:
mac.hawk@ntlworld.com

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Name:
Julie Hubbard (Tring)

Comment:
To earn some much needed extra cash,I worked here very briefly in 1983.It was a very nice place to work & the staff were very friendly..... I remember Joan Valentine very well, she certainly didn't take any prisoners and took no nonsense from anyone. Joan really put here heart & soul into everything she did....it wasn't just a job for her. Mac Hawk was right when he said.."Once met, never forgot"....and thats just how she liked it !! 13/12/2010

Date:
13-Dec-2010

Email:
a.n.hubbard@ntlworld.com

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Name:
Mac.Hawk

Comment:
The cinema never ran under the Warner Brothers name. I worked there for nearly 30 years from 1971 to closure and to my knowledge the owners during that time were EMI, the Alan Bond Organisation (for 2 weeks!), Cannon, MGM, ABC Cinemas (not the same company as the ABC Cinemas pre-1970) and on the week it closed the Odeon Cinema chain were the owners. Oops, I missed out Virgin in that list, which I can't quite recall if they were before or after the the (later) ABC.

Date:
17-Jan-2011

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Name:
Ian Smith

Comment:
Hi everyone - I seem to remember that the shop on the right of the photograph, next to the cinema, was the Ritz Angling Centre. In the 1950's, the proprietor was a man called Scott. I have no idea when the angling shop closed. Ian

Date:
26-Aug-2012

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Name:
Robert Morris

Comment:
I remember the angling shop next to the cinema. We used to buy our maggots in there by the pint and they were put into cloth 'Maggot Bags'. Maggots came in solids (Plain white)or in mixed colours. Amazing that we used to carry these bags in the open back home on the bus.

Date:
27-Mar-2013

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Name:
Lee Schofield

Comment:
I was lucky enough to go there several times in the mid to late 90s and have fond memories of there being nobody else in the screening except me and my two friends...you could put your foot up on the seats in front of you. The cheap tickets were a god-send for us kids as well. Sadly missed.

Date:
28-Jul-2013

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Name:
Peter Shaw

Comment:
I remember this cinema fondly I much prefered it to the odeon ul the road. I remember neing given a life size cut our of pamela anderson from the film barbed wire I think it was. All I did was ask for it and they gove it to me

Date:
13-Oct-2013

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Name:
Kenneth Hind

Comment:
Memory of the Ritz in the war years is clear....I viewed 'The Postman Rings Twice' on that screen as a young-un ! Lana Turner, et al. Then I was inducted into the ROYAL Navy later, just down the street close to the Thorntons, the sweet factory. Oh, such happy days.

Date:
08-Feb-2014

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Name:
stan malthouse

Comment:
I think the sweet factory was thornes not thorntons as mention below or am I wrong

Date:
16-Feb-2014

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Name:
Michael Wilson

Comment:
This was the flics I had my first date (1961) with a girl who worked with me in a shoe factory in town which I have forgotten the name.Her name and the factory's.She did'nt turn up, I waited 1/2 hour.Next time at work she told me her mother would'nt let her go! Idiot like I am I never spoke to her againe.It was a shame!I now live in Germany

Date:
16-Feb-2014

Email:
michael.wilson.45@arcor.de

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Name:
Tony Newman

Comment:
This was my fav cinema during the 70's 80's and 90's. I loved screen 1 the sounds the smell and with sensurround the feel! I walked past it every day on the way to work down north rd and went in 3 times a week on the way home. Had my first date here and went to the last ever show just to say goodbye. Moved away from Leeds now but will always remember the place with fond memorys. R.I.P

Date:
05-Jul-2014

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