False teeth, a pig’s trotter and two chocolate boys

Staff at the Ritz cinema Gosport in 1936
Staff at the Ritz cinema Gosport in 1936

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Today’s story and the accompanying In Pictures feature is devoted to the much-loved old Ritz Cinema at Gosport and some of the people who worked there.

On March 4, 1935, a large crowd gathered at Walpole Road for the official opening of the cinema by popular stage and film star Leslie Henson.

This cinema was hailed as one of the most luxurious in the country boasting 1,000 ultra-comfortable seats and an excellent restaurant in which patrons could enjoy a three course meal for 1/6d (8p).

The first film shown was What Every Woman Knows and in its first year more than 500,000 people visited the Ritz.

A trip to the lost property department was an adventure in itself. Items there included: one live baby, a pig’s trotter, one set of false teeth, two rabbits (dead), and more than 1,000 gloves.

The photo on this story of Ritz staff was taken in 1936 to mark its first year.

They also included two chocolate boys who did just what it says on the tin: they were employed solely to sell chocolates.

One of the pictures in our In Pictures feature shows a quartet of usherettes posing in front of the Ritz van in 1938.

They are, from the left: Lilian Bryant, Barbara Cresdee, Phylis Wilson, and Joan Darrington.

Pictures courtesy of Ron Brown’s Cinemas and Theatres of Portsmouth (Amberley, £12.99)

Why don’t you share your memories with us? If you have your own story or pictures from days gone by that you would like featured on this page

please e-mail Chris Owen at chris.owen@thenews.co.uk or write to him at The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth,PO2 9SX