Putting on the Ritz – 22nd May 2016 –
Transport Stadium, Wheelers Lane, Kings Heath.
The Ritz Ballroom in York Road, Kings Heath was a major entertainment venue for people living in South Birmingham from early in the last century until it was destroyed by fire in 2013. The Ritz began life as a cinema during the silent movie days, then became a snooker hall but came into it’s own when Ma and Pa Reagan took over and the pop culture of the 60s was in it’s heyday. Many well-known bands performed there early in their careers before they were famous – including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones as well as local artists such as the Move ( their single ‘Flowers in the Rain’ was the first song to be played on Radio 1 when it was launched in 1965) plus the Moody Blues, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osborne. It later became a bingo hall until it’s demise but The Ritz is best remembered by many of the older generation for those glorious 60s days!
Putting on the Ritz’ on May 22nd was a chance for people of all ages from the local community to come together and enjoy a family fun afternoon of music, memorabilia, vintage craft stalls as well as opportunity to share memories from the days of the old Ritz Ballroom. This was followed in the evening by live music from the fabulous ‘Out of the Shadows’, supported by Melissa Gill along with the Mighty Crawadaddies and Vix and her MsChiefs. Arts 50 Alive was delighted to support the Ritz Arts Centre committee with this event as it brought together the community and musicians of all ages to celebrate the past and plan for the future.