This story was published 26 March 2018

A volunteer-run cinema in a North Yorkshire town is putting on the Ritz for filmgoers with a fresh and welcoming new foyer.

County Councillor Gareth Dadd, right, with Marc Davies, left, and Howard Wooldridge, of the Ritz cinema in Thirsk

The Ritz cinema in Thirsk has benefited from the refurbishment partly thanks to £2,000 from the locality budget of North Yorkshire County Council deputy leader Gareth Dadd. Locality budgets allow the 72 county councillors to respond to local needs and requests by recommending funding of up to £5,000 to support projects or activities that benefit the communities they represent.

Ritz volunteer Marc Davies said: “The money was match-funded by the cinema and used for refurbishment of the cinema foyer, welcoming visitors with a fresh look while staying in keeping with the heritage of the building.

“The cinema already had plans to realign the kiosk area and we were very grateful for Cllr Dadd's funding towards new improved LED lighting, matching the deco theme of much of the original interior, and new Quad boxes at the front of the cinema to display our 'forthcoming attractions'. The work has created a welcoming entry for the cinema customers and has helped us to keep this very important local amenity up to date.’’

Councillor Dadd, who represents the Thirsk division, said the Ritz provided a social and community service that would not otherwise be financially viable.

“The foyer and general appearance of the building is vital to the economic appearance of the town and, as such, keeping it fresh is necessary. Probably most importantly, the Ritz is volunteer-run and displays the vital community spirit within my division.

“The volunteers deserve that little helping hand financially as they give up their time for the wider community benefit. I wanted, on behalf of the wider community and county council, to thank them all for what they do for us and words rather than actions are simply not enough. In addition, the Ritz provides that social interaction vital to healthy living for both residents and volunteers.’’