THE much-loved Ritz cinema in Thirsk will reopen later this month after closing its doors back in March 2020 as the Covid pandemic took hold.

As the venue is entirely staffed by a committed group of volunteers, the decision to remain closed was made for the safety of all involved.

However major improvement work has been carried out, including the replacement of the existing downstairs seating with new multiplex-style seats to match those of the balcony area. New carpets have been laid and the decor spruced up.

During the closure the cinema was also used as a venue for two promotional films and a scene for an upcoming series of All Creatures Great and Small – ironically for this sequence of filming many of the cinema modern improved features were taken back several decades to suit the story's era.

The cinema has now confirmed it will reopen on Friday, September 24.

A spokesperson for the Ritz said: "The cinema volunteers are greatly looking forward to welcoming back their supportive audience in a safe manner. The cinema's website gives details of what we have done to make and keep people safe and the advice for customers returning as well as perhaps visiting for the first time.

"The cinema's opening film will be The Last Bus, a heart-warming tale of a pensioner travelling from John O'Groats to his origins at Land's End using his free bus pass. He isn't travelling alone though as he is carrying his wife's ashes to take her 'home'. The people he meets along the way only add to the adventure as his journey unfolds. Timothy Spall stars as the quiet adventurer. Following films include Benedict Cumberbatch in The Courier, The last letter from your lover and The Pebble and the Boy.

"The cinema is always seeking new volunteers so if you would like to know more please get in touch though the website, via the phone or leave your details at the box office. Now would be a great time to join our friendly community."

See or call 01845 524751.