Ritz ABC Cinema, minors song and more

abc

supplied by Samuel Freeman

Yvonne Cleland… fab

Andre Martin… That was a venue that should never have been sold off for a Supermarket – the trouble was in the late 60s people just did not go to the cinema as in earlier days, and some of these palaces just did not pay.

Philip Meston… I saw many films there, not to mention ABC Minors!

Peter Pursglove… I  think the video recorders did a lot to kill off the cinema sadly ,I used to love the cinema ,early sixties my half day off from hairdressing in Tower Road i used to scoot round and catch 3 shows he he i remember 6 cinema’s then ,2 in st leonards and 4 in hastings

Nick Prince…The ABC Ritz was profitable at the time of closure, as to was the Orion. Although you are quite right, in general, cinema attendences were falling.

Dennis Torrance… Were all palls together last film on abc le mons steve McQueen I think went there most weeks to see a film with my parents during the week. The organ that came up in the stage there the badges 3d each ice poles and the talent shows.

Patricia Landamore… Went there Saturday mornings To The Minors 🙂 , then in the early 60,s a little bit of courting at the Ritz, hey ho :-)))) good days eh?

Bernard Jeffery… that was the best cinema in the town

Alan Esdaile… my piano teacher ‘Reg Kennett’ used to play the organ for the silent movies.

Philip Meston….One luminous ABC Minors badge. Wish I still had all the others!

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supplied by Philip Meston

Leigh Wieland-Boys…I went to this cinema the night before it closed, saw Le Mans, I am sure it was late 1971 as I moved to Hastings in the Sept that year.

Jon McCallion… I am sure that Cliff Richard filmed the end to summer holiday there.

Mick Knights… Its amazing that a photo and a few comments can awaken memories from sixty odd years ago, so on the subject of the ABC minors, does anyone remember that every Saturday when we filed in from the car park, you were given a picture card and once you’d collected a set and placed them in an album your were entitled to a free badge. It took me a while to realize that if you bought an album with a complete set already in it, you could take it back week after week and get a badge every time!!

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photo  Nick Prince collection

John Storer… It was only a few weeks ago that I was regaling my considerably-younger colleagues with tales of Saturday mornings cinema, complete with a rendition of the ABC Minors song. However, I remember the third line as being “… and every Saturday we (as opposed to “all) line up …” It seemed that every kid from our area in Ore went – Paul Clayton, Teddy Blakely, Mick Hitchman. Suspect Steve and Gary Kinch went as well. I saw my first X film at the ABC – The Godfather. Went with my Dad who made me wear a tie so that I looked 18. Also remember several horror film all-nighters with Colin Jarvis and Kev Potter. Never go to the cinema these days, for the simple reason I’m usually fast asleep 10 minutes after the film starts!

Tony Court-holmes…used to go to the miners on saturday mornings

Tony May… I am loving this thread! So much so that as I write I am in the process of putting an article together about it for ‘Hastings Town’ magazine

Dennis Torrace… The abc was amazing inside brass and marble but lets not look after it rip it down like the rest of some other buildings that was near by and put up some oblong ugly building s

Mick Knights… Talk about the clouds of sixty years clearing. All together now. “We’re the boys and girls who are known as the minors of the ABC and every Saturday all line up to watch the films we like and shout about with glee, we like to laugh and have a sing song, just a happy crowd are we, we’re all friends together, we’re the minors of the ABC. If I only could have remembered the important things in life I’d probably be a wealthy man!!!

Peter Pursglove… I’ve got Good old Sussex by the sea stuck in my head ,did we used to sing that too at minors ?

Jim Hobbs… Great Cinema building demolished to build …. a Sainsburys!

Last  remaining ABC Cinema, which was in Bournemouth closes down…. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-38500616 

Dennis Torrance… What a photo happy times with my parents seeing films and sat mornings minors . Remember the thirty s decorations and the car park badges threepence each

Wendy Weaver… The ABC cinema that has closed is in Westover Road, Bournemouth, I n fact when I lived there it was called the Westover Cinema In the 1950s Walt Disney held a premier of Rob Roy there with a host of top stars including The Bournemouth Girls Choir of which I was a member.👱‍♀. My parents originally met there when my father was a projectionist and my mother an usherette . It’s the end of yet another era. Sad

Dennis Torrance… In Hastings only one cinema left now with a few inside as well . One thinks how long this will last with the internet well in charge . Always happy memories of the cinema as a kid

Nick Prince… Dennis, There is the Palace at the rear of the Palace Bars, White Rock, Electric Palace in High Street, Kino Teatr (Curzon), Norman Rd, Cinema@ Sussex Exchange, Queens Way, Odeon, Queens Road and St Mary in the Castle also show films. In addition to this the twin Kino in Rye has given that town a choice of two screens for the first time since 1930. The Pavilion in Hailsham reopened after 35 years and Kino (formerly Victoria) in Hawkhurst, reopened after nearly 50. The choice of film in Hastings and St Leonards is in fact very healthy, as it is all across the UK and at its highest since the Regal in St Leonards closed in 1956. Two of our cinemas take release date films and a third regularly does. It is rare that there is a duplicated screen across the borough….. With regard to The ABC Bournemouth, it has been owned by ODEON for nearly twenty years. The cinema simply didn’t change its name as there is also a town centre ODEON. It isn’t closing because its losing money, its closing because ODEON are opening a multiplex up the road and have another cinema in town as well as the ABC. It’s as simple as that! But yes it is the end of the ABC name. For now. Let’s remember that the ABC name had already disappeared between 1985 and 1996 altogether. This is nothing less than journalists making something out of nothing…..

Dennis Torrance… Nick your right about the other cinemas in Hastings I was thinking about the old ones which have gone now. It was nice to see all open and the Curzon Norman road brought back to me memories Sunday wet afternoons cup of tea as well can’t be bad

Alan Esdaile… On the piece on the BBC report, it reminded me on how posh the ABC appeared compared to the other cinemas in the town. I keep thinking the carpet was blue with yellow bits in (crowns?) Perhaps Nick can remember?

Mick O’Dowd… It was posher than most. The Orion in the town centre was known as “The Flea Pit”. The last film I saw there was the original Star Wars and we were ankle deep in rubbish. I think this was a couple of weeks before it closed. The ABC Ritz held pop concerts as well. Saw Billy Fury show there & Cliff Richard.

Nick Prince… Star Wars in addition to an initial six week run at the Classic (ODEON), Hastings, has three separate runs at the profit making Orion and was it’s last film when it closed on August 31st, 1978. I went there that day.

Mick O’Dowd… Didn’t it run films for the “dirty Mac brigade” for a while Nick?

Nick Prince… Oh yes Mick but in general the Orion took a break every Christmas Week.. The Slipper and the Rose (1977), Bugsy Malone (1976), Wizard of Oz plus Tom Thumb (1975) etc etc. However, following the demise of the Curzon (Kino-Teatr), the Orion found it could make a good profit from the Curzon audience and screened more A and U films, these included ABBA the Movie, Spiderman the Movie, Viva Keneivel, A Sinbad double bill, Sky Divers, Star Wars etc etc… Three of these were first run over the Classic. The situation on the barring film distributor system in the Borough was on every five releases of all the main circuits (then ABC, Classic, Rank), the Classic had 4/5 and Orion 1/5. The Orion took on the Curzon’s 20% of the 1st run product. This decision was made at a meeting of the SFD (Society of Film Distributors). The Orion played 100% first run of the soft porn product from about 1962 until 1977. These were released by minor distributors. The major distributors who occasionally handled this type of film would go to the main circuits so would have gone to the ABC (Ritz), Deluxe (Rank), Classic. These would have been things like Confessions films etc etc….

Lloyd Johnson… Saw The Shadows at The Ritz…

1 thought on “Ritz ABC Cinema, minors song and more”

  1. It was only a few weeks ago that I was regaling my considerably-younger colleagues with tales of Saturday mornings cinema, complete with a rendition of the ABC Minors song. However, I remember the third line as being “… and every Saturday we (as opposed to “all) line up …”

    It seemed that every kid from our area in Ore went – Paul Clayton, Teddy Blakely, Mick Hitchman. Suspect Steve and Gary Kinch went as well

    I saw my first X film at the ABC – The Godfather. Went with my Dad who made me wear a tie so that I looked 18. Also remember several horror film all-nighters with Colin Jarvis and Kev Potter

    Never go to the cinema these days, for the simple reason I’m usually fast asleep 10 minutes after the film starts!

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