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Enfield Ritz


Built with full stage facilities, orchestra pit and Compton organ and designed by Major W.J. King, the Enfield Ritz was run by Associated British Cinemas (ABC) but known as the Ritz until 1970. The cinema closed in 1974, and was briefly a synagogue before being acquired by the Jehovah’s Witnesses as an Assembly Hall. Their use has preserved the auditorium and has led to almost perfect restoration, with only minor modifications. The facade seems non-existent today as the building is obscurely located behind a shopping parade, at the side of a recreation ground. The entrance is from a back road behind the shopping area. The interior has a plain ceiling with a large circular area providing illumination. Each side of the proscenium are three abstract designs, lit by coved lighting from below. Ventilation grilles are unusually located in the ceiling in front of the proscenium instead of on the side walls. There was a wide passage at the rear of the stalls. In 1970, the stalls area was reseated to hold 588 but the balcony was no longer in use so the original seating remained in situ. The stage, fly area and dressing rooms are intact, though offices occupy some of the space backstage. The orchestra pit has been adapted to house a font, and the 'promenade' at the rear of the stalls has been levelled to form a meeting room, with glass front now separating it from the rest of the auditorium. Part of the foyer has been converted to kitchens. However, these are superficial alterations. The architectural character is well preserved. The Jehovah’s Witnesses still hold the lease but the current consultation in 2016 on redevelopment plans for the area include an option to demolish the building.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
Current state
Current use
Religious centre (Jehovah's Witnesses' Assembly Hall; cinema until 1974)
174 Bowes Road, New Southgate, London, Enfield, N11 2JG, England
Further details
Other names
ABC , Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • 1933 Design/Construction:
    Major W J King
    - Architect
  • 1933 Owner/Management: ABC, owner
  • 1970 Alteration: stalls converted to luxury lounge (architect unknown).
  • 1970 - 1979 Owner/Management: Jehovah's Witnesses, owner
  • 1974 Alteration: superficial modifications for religious use (architect unknown).
  • Capacity
  • Capacity
    1970: 588
  • Listing
    Not listed
Stage type
Pros flat
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: -
Proscenium width: -
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: Original