The Ritz Cinema - Wallsend

A well-researched Historical Building Report (HBR) can add value to the redevelopment of a listed building that is to undergo a change of use. 

frontIn the case of the  Ritz Cinema in Wallsend it meant that some important original Art Deco features were preserved and incorporated into its conversion to a large Wetherspoon public house, maintaining the building’s importance in the local area and creating a destination to attract a whole new audience.

A full programme of recording ...

In line with NPPF guidelines, Tyne & Wear’s Planning Archaeologist requested that a programme of recording was undertaken to advise the conservation, alteration, repair and management of the building, and to compile a permanent archive record of the use of the building. Harrison Ince Architects appointed AB Heritage to undertake the work.

AB Heritage provided a full Level II Historic Building Recording and included a report of all the relevant historical documentation recording of the use of the buildings as a cinema and later bingo hall, and to record and preserve it as one of only 13 cinema houses designed by renowned designer Percy Lindsay Browne.

Although externally the building was largely unchanged, internally there were inaccessible areas due to dilapidation and stockpiling of materials for demolition.  It was important to capture the detail of the original Art Deco features to protect them as the building was redeveloped. A full photographic record captured the surviving features of the original decor.

Desk-based research ...

AB Heritage consultants have well-honed skills in desk-based research with access to multiple resources from which to obtain historical information. The resulting Level II Historic Building report was accurate, thorough and produced in a timely fashion to support the progress of the development.

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Appreciated by the community ...

The redevelopment of the Ritz Cinema at Wallsend has restored the Art Deco frontage to its former glory. Many of the internal features have been incorporated into the grandiose themed interior, which is being appreciated by a new audience – customers of Wetherspoon.

Read the full report here

Images. external and internal Art Deco features.