Film celebrates 100 years of cinema

North Yorkshire film maker Sarah Macmillan who has made a documentary celebrating 100 years of Ritz Cinema, Thirsk. (s)
North Yorkshire film maker Sarah Macmillan who has made a documentary celebrating 100 years of Ritz Cinema, Thirsk. (s)

A film documentary celebrating the centenary of Ritz Cinema has been made by a North Yorkshire film maker.

100 Years at the Ritz Cinema, Thirsk, by Sarah Macmillan, is a documentary celebrating the cinema from the times of founding-father Walter Power in 1912 right through to the current volunteer-run success of today.

The film documents not only the centenary of the cinema but also the story of film and cinema itself and takes a nostalgic look into history capturing the atmosphere of very early cinema through silent movies to the first ‘talking pictures’ and onto the present day.

Interviewees tell of the fun and excitement of the children’s Saturday matinees; with sweets and choc ices sold by the girls with the trays, through to fond memories of romance in the courting seats of the back row.

The cinema’s recent past and the volunteer group’s legacy is well covered.

Also included is a rare glimpse of life in the projection room during the final days of film – now the film reels have been replaced with industry standard digital equipment.

A spokesman for the volunteer group said it is very grateful to Sarah for the immense amount of work she has put into the feature and is looking forward to sharing this important archive with as many people as possible, fittingly, on the big screen.

The film will be shown at other times throughout the centenary year. For dates keep an eye on the cinema’s flyer and web-site www.ritzcinema.co.uk

Sarah Macmillan is a film-maker specialising in heritage documentaries and short films made throughout North Yorkshire.

She began making films on a voluntary basis in 2006 and has made over 50 short documentaries covering all aspects of our region’s heritage.

Sarah has allowed the cinema to reproduce the film in DVD format and it will be available to buy priced at £5 from the cinema box office.