One of Sydney’s last standing independent cinemas, The Ritz, in the South Eastern suburb of Randwick, has been purchased by Eddie Tamir, adding to the 3 cinemas Tamir’s family currently owns in Melbourne. As per his operation southside, the purchase includes not only the cinema business but also the property on which the cinema stands.
The Ritz was built in 1937, with its #1 cinema seating up to 800 customers and home to various recent premieres and special events. A further 5 screens were built by Katehos’s family, who took over the site 21 years ago. It is one of only two art deco cinemas still operating in Sydney.
Eddie Tamir currently owns and operates The Classic in Elsternwick, Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn and Cameo Cinemas in Belgrave, plus the Jewish Film Festival, which plays in those cinemas along with other sites around Australia. Tamir’s cinemas in Melbourne have been supportive of alternative programming, hosting local production premieres and special events, along with launching film festivals such as the recent Paracinema Fest and the Children’s International Film Festival.
FilmInk’s relationship with The Ritz goes back many years, launching ‘FilmInk Presents’ there, curating the SciFi Film Festival in 2017 and working closely with the cinema to make it a hub for local indie filmmakers.
The purchase is a great fit in theory, and The Ritz will hopefully continue to enliven cinema culture in Sydney – heck, it needs it!