Ritz Cinema – Athlone Town

The Ritz Cinema was an iconic architectural building on the banks of the Shannon in Athlone Town. Much like many other iconic buildings in Athlone town, this has been reduced to rubble. The buildings design has long been attributed to Micheal Scott, who produced many rough sketches for it but left the final design up to Bill O’Dwyer who was working and studying in Scott’s office at the time.

Glass front Ritz Cinema athlone

Source: Ed Butler

Large areas of glazing dominated the facade and side elevations of the building. Budget dedicated that most of this glazing was never installed. From the image above it does appear that at one time the front facade did indeed have this glazing, however some time after this photo was taken it was removed.

Source: Archiseek

Source: Archiseek

As a child I can recall walking into the foyer of the cinema to be greeted by what appeared to be a large timber staircase in a double high space. Sometime in the 80’s the Ritz closed it doors for the last time and as the Celtic tiger roared in Ireland, the building was reduced to rubble and replaced with an apartment complex.

What is fascinating today is that this building emerged from the architectural sketches of Michael Scott

Architectural sketch -Museum of Contemporary Arts

There something about architectural sketches that are so captivating. Maybe its the detail contained within them, maybe its the architects ability to communicate their design intend through the mediums of pencil and paper or maybe its something else, but one think that is certain is that these sketches are a true art form in their own right.

This sketch appeared on Reza Asgaripour’s Instagram channel recently. The caption describes it as a Morphology, regrading and study of Richard Meier works – the Museum of Contemporary Arts. On first glance I am reminded (by the top part of the sketch) of the now demolished old Ritz Cinema on the banks of the river Shannon in Athlone town. A building that commanded a prominent place in the town and is credited to another great architect Michael Scott (architect).


Feature image – Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP


Wordsmith – Suli Breaks

Suli Breaks is a English spoken word poet best known for his spoken word videos on his Youtube channel sulibreezy. He was born in London England in 1988 and grew up along with his two sisters in what he describes as “a conventional African family, where education is paramount”. He graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Law. It was during his academic studies that his journey as a spoken word artist took flight.

To Suli, Social media is a platform to engage people on strong topics of social importance such as education, life, racism and religion. His novel approach to wordplay and unequivocal delivery of his verse inspires his audiences. He has earned a reputation as hard-hitting, poignant and thought provoking.


You can check out some of his working on his youtube channelĀ sulibreezy