I go to the movies at a range of complexes around Sydney but one of my favourites is the Randwick Ritz. The Ritz opened in July 1937 and is one of the few remaining art deco cinemas still operating in the state. Apparently still a family run cinema, the owners somehow squeezed another five screens alongside the original auditorium converting the business to a more economically viable 'multiplex'. It must face intense pressure from the two big muliplex chains which have surrounded it with three even larger complexes in nearby Bondi Junction, Moore Park and Pagewood.
The owners have maximised their opportunities on a limited site including turning the upstairs foyer of the orginal auditorium into a bar, cafe and function facility and creating an outside wining and dining area on the awning.
The original auditorium is now Cinema 1 and this is the downstairs foyer to it. The light fittings match those inside the auditorium and are replicated in the five newer cinemas which, whilst modern, maintain some of the art deco design themes. Cinema 1 retains an upstairs Dress Circle and most unusually in these times three of the five modern auditoriums also have Dress Circle seating.
Despite the competition of the chain muliplexes, The Ritz maintains strong patronage and I suspect is proving a more profitable business than the big boys despite charging discount prices for all its sessions.