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HMV Group to operate The Ritz

Music firm adds to live portfolio

Published on December 13th 2010.

HMV Group to operate The Ritz

HMV Group Plc is in the final stages of taking over the management of The Ritz, a live music venue in Manchester city centre.

The music retailer released an interim management statement covering the six months to October 23, which revealed its takeover of the venue. The Ritz, which holds 1,300 people, had been up for sale for more than a year.

A paragraph in the statement released to the stock exchange, covering its live division, said a ‘further new venue, the Ritz in Manchester, (is) to open in the second half’.

HMV operates its live division through MAMA Group, which it bought earlier this year. The Ritz, on Whitworth Street, went up for sale in June 2009 after the company that owned it, Candu Entertainment Ltd, went into administration.

That firm was sold for £11.5m to London-based Company Time Ltd, which started the search for a new operator.

The Ritz was originally built in 1927-8 and was called a ‘dance-hall’ in the planning application. It is therefore Manchester’s oldest continuously running nightclub. Whether the change of ownership means a change of use into an exclusively live venue remains to be seen.

A spokesperson for HMV Group said it was 'finalising details to acquire the operating lease' on the building.

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

NaenhjDecember 11th 2010.

Wonder if a refurbishment is in the offing?

Ali McGDecember 14th 2010.

This is great news - a national operator seeing fit to invest in it. I'd rather see that than have it knocked down and replaced by more shit apartments :) Live music is awesome and I've seen a few gigs at the Ritz... long may it (and its bouncy dance floor) live!!!

Caroline FaulknerDecember 14th 2010.

I hope they pull up the carpet that makes the whole place smell of wet dog!

AnonymousDecember 15th 2010.

It is opening as G-A-Y nightclub and bar I believe. G-A-Y is part owned by MAMA / HMV and the CEO of HMV looked at the building with G-A-Y a few months ago. They are likely to invest quite heavily in refurbishing. Expect X-Factor finalists galore in H2 2011!!!!

Peter RivendellDecember 15th 2010.

There aren't enough G-A-Ys in Manchester to fill the Ritz on a regular basis. That is a really dumb idea.

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