The Info List - Ritzy Cinema

The Ritzy is a cinema in Brixton, London, England. It is a Grade II listed building.[1] It is managed by Picturehouse Cinemas
Picturehouse Cinemas
who were bought by Cineworld
in 2012. The cinema opened on 11 March 1911 as "the Electric Pavilion". It was built by E. C. Homer and Lucas for Israel Davis, one of a noted family of cinema developers, and was one of England's earliest purpose-built cinemas seating over 750 seats in the single auditorium. Like many cinemas of the period, it was fitted with an organ. It was seen as a 'scruffy relation' to the nearby Palladium and was known as the 'flea pit'. Sound films began showing in 1929.[2] The neighbouring Brixton
Theatre was completely destroyed by bombing in 1940, which allowed the Ritzy to expand into the vacant space.[3] In 1954 it was renovated by noted cinema architect George Coles who installed cinemascope, and it was renamed "the Pullman" and the organ was removed. It was later renamed "the Classic" before closure in 1976. After this it was re-invented as "The Little Bit Ritzy", run in collaboration with London Cinema Collective, showing interesting and meaningful double bills, serving delicious home-made cakes. A collaboration between Lambeth Council
Lambeth Council
and the management of the time ensured the cinema's survival, with the facade being rebuilt and restored to near-original condition. During the 1980s the cinema developed a reputation as having a left-wing agenda, so much so that the incumbent manager was motivated to place an advert in the local press advising potential patrons that not every film that the cinema screened was “left-wing or gay”.[4] Today the cinema is owned by Picturehouse Cinemas, and thrives as a multi-screen complex with bar and cafe facilities. Its official name is now Ritzy Picturehouse although it is still commonly known as the Ritzy Cinema. In 1999 Albion Ventures invested £8million in Picturehouse to help fund the development of several of their cinemas, including the Ritzy. In 2009, the decor and colour scheme was restored from its original style and a live music venue was added, called Upstairs. Living wage dispute[edit] There has been an ongoing labour dispute from Ritzy Cinema
Ritzy Cinema
Workers since 2007, when staff were paid £5.35 per hour[5]. City Screen, which then owned Picturehouse cinemas since 2003, refused to recognise the BECTU union and set up an alternative called 'The Forum'. After a court case, BECTU was recognised and negotiations began in 2004. The dispute re-emerged in 2014 over the payment of the London Living Wage. Picturehouse has stated that "we cannot predict the future levels of the London Living Wage and we cannot build a business plan around a rate that is not within our ability to forecast."[6] Picturehouse says that it pays its staff a 'fair wage' of £9.10 per hour, compared to the voluntary London Living Wage of £10.20. Strike action by staff continued in 2017 following the sacking of representatives of the BECTU union which represents cinema workers.[7] Public figures such as Sir Ian McKellen, Ken Loach, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Garfield and shadow chancellor John McDonnell have publicly supported the campaign.[8] References[edit]

^ Historic England. " Ritzy Cinema
Ritzy Cinema
(1249916)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 26 September 2016.  ^ "From Electric Pavilion to the Little Bit Ritzy: The story of a legendary landmark". Brixton
Blog. 2015-01-30. Retrieved 2017-11-12.  ^ "Cinefile: The Ritzy Cinema's Centenary". Londonist. 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2017-11-12.  ^ Adam Lusher (2014-03-19). "Nudge, nudge: Python supports ushers striking for the living wage". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-07-20.  ^ " Ritzy Cinema
Ritzy Cinema
staff strike against poverty pay. - UK Indymedia". www.indymedia.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-12.  ^ "Cinema staff go on strike over pay". BBC News. 2014-06-22. Retrieved 2017-11-12.  ^ Boycott-Owen, Mason (2017-09-23). "Brixton's Ritzy cinema workers to strike as pay row enters second year". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-12.  ^ " Brixton
cinema staff continue strike action as threat of sack looms - South West Londoner". South West Londoner. 2017-11-02. Retrieved 2017-11-12. 

External links[edit]

The Ritzy official website The Electric Pavilion (Lambeth Archive) Media related to Ritzy Cinema
Ritzy Cinema
at Wikimedia Commons

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