Future of Ritz secured

Former owner of the Ritz Ballroom Pauline Olbison hands over the keys to Glenn Smith
Former owner of the Ritz Ballroom Pauline Olbison hands over the keys to Glenn Smith

The future of Brighouse’s iconic Ritz Ballroom has been secured and the new owner has pledged to keep the nights of entertainment rolling and bring it into the 21st century.

Businessman Glenn Smith has taken the reins of the building on Bradford Road after it was put up for sale by the owners at the start of the year.

After coming to the venue for 20 years he said once he found out that the Ritz was being sold, he decided to take it rather than see something else happen to it.

“It has been a successful business for the last 27 years and all we want to do now is bring it into the 21st century with more bands and acts but keeping the same entertainment it has had down the years,” said Glenn, of Halifax.

“There is a friendly atmosphere, it’s trouble free and is in a fantastic location.

“We are looking to promote it a lot more on the website and on social media.

“We have new branding and we are looking to bring it up to date but keep the same characteristics and history.

“The previous owners, Pauline and Alan Olbison, have been very successful and there is no need to diminish that. It just needs to move more with the times.”

He also said that once he has settled into his role, he is keen to work with businesses in the town. The New Year’s Eve party is already sold out with people coming from all over the country and many of the hotels being booked up.

Pauline said: “Everyone was so glad when they found out Glenn was taking it over. The customers couldn’t thank him enough. He has plenty of ideas for improving the Ritz

“We want to say a massive thank you to all our customers, staff and friends who have supported us.

“It has been a wonderful time and we take away great memories but it is now the turn of Glenn who will continue with the same programme as well as growing the Ritz, and we wish him all the best.”

The Ritz dates back to 1937 when it opened as a cinema, the first in Brighouse.

It closed in 1963 and re-opened as a bingo hall in 1965 before being bought in 1981, when it was refurbished and converted to a dance hall.