Plenty of kind comments - but no offers for the Ritz

For sale the Ritz, Brighouse.
For sale the Ritz, Brighouse.

The announcement that the Ritz Ballroom, Brighouse’s premier entertainment venue, is for sale has attracted lots of encouraging comments - but so far no buyers.

Co-owner Pauline Olbison said: “It is disappointing that we have had no expressions of interest in the Ritz but it is early days and we are optimistic.

“We have, however, had some lovely comments from people coming to events at the Ritz and from Brighouse people who have seen the for sale sign go up outside.

“We are booked up for the year ahead and we will carry on running it as a venue until a buyer comes forward. We have decided that we will continue to try to sell it ourselves for a few more months then, if we have not had any serious interest, we will put it in the hands of an estate agent.”

Coun Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) said the Ritz Ballroom was an iconic building in Brighouse and had one of the best dance floors in the north of England.

“Pauline and Alan Olbison have run the Ritz very successfully for 27 years and I can fully understand them wanting to retire. I feel it’s important that the Ritz continues to be a great entertainment venue for bands and dances. The building is a community asset and I would love it to stay.”

The Ritz, for sale for a month, was last put on the market eight years ago but three attempts to gain planning permission to build retirement homes on the site were rejected by Calderdale Council. In 2005 valuers put a £1 million price tag on the half-acre site at Bradford Road.

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, refurbished and converted to a dance hall.