Axe hangs over ‘The Ritz’ in Brighouse after naming dispute

The Ritz Ballroom, brighouse
The Ritz Ballroom, brighouse

A naming dispute with a top London Hotel could see a renowned music and entertainment venue in Brighouse close its doors.

The owner of the Ritz Ballroom has been contacted by representatives from the Ritz Hotel saying they must drop their name from the the venue which has been open for 80 years.

Owner Glenn Smith is now forced to drop the name and remove all affiliation with the Ritz title from websites and social media.

Question marks now remain over the future of the venue and whether it will now be sustainable to run the business.

“It was difficult telling all the staff the situation but we can’t now promote any live music or event through our websites or on Facebook,” said Mr Smith.

“At this point in time unless we can get around it I am not a hundred per cent we will be able to continue.

“We are trying to find a solution to minimise the damage.

“Over the last-two-and-a-half years we have built up the business. We have been making inroads and driving the crowd numbers up.

“We’ve had some highly regarded acts performing and brought a lot more new people to the venue and visitors into the town.

“A lot of hard work has been put into this by the staff and making the venue successful and reaching more people.

“A venue likes this deserves to be a success.”

He also said there have been other examples in the country that smaller venues have been forced to drop the ‘Ritz’ name by the London hotel.

Mr Smith took over the reins of the building on Bradford Road after it was put up for sale by the owners at the start of 2014.

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.

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.