January 7, 2013 10.56 am This story is over 136 months old

Reviving the Ritz cinema: One year on

Bringing back the Ritz: Pete Genders explains that after huge setbacks due to the discovery of asbestos at the Ritz, the project is now back on track.

We are a year on now, and after a few huge setbacks we have finally started the Ritz cinema regeneration project once again.

We have seen a fair amount of tears over the last year to get us to this stage, and after the devastating discovery of asbestos throughout the whole building, it looked like the project would die before it even began.

Thankfully, we have got past that stage now and the positive news is we are moving full steam ahead on the Ritz regeneration once more.

The negative news is we are right back to square one after spending a year removing the asbestos — and our entire project budget — to make the building safe.

Off The Bench founder Pete Genders with volunteer Alice Carter show The Lincolnite inside the Ritz cinema project progress. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

In pictures: See inside the Ritz regeneration project one year on

We now need more help in a range of ways, from directly helping us with the labour and building work, design and layout of the building, through to decoration.

You can also help us to organise a full array or fundraising events this year to raise the mammoth £100,000 target we need to complete the build.

We’re already organising two fundraising events – the first will be a Ritz Originals Poster Art Exhibition and In The Footsteps Of Giants will be the first live concert event to be held in the Ritz in over 20 years, featuring four of Lincoln’s hottest acts. You’ll find more details about the events on The Lincolnite soon.

So, I know it has been a long time since this project started but we hope 2013 will finally be the year we get this sleeping giant back on its feet.

The Ritz Cinema Regeneration Book

Over the last year I have wrote a book on the history of the Ritz, the present and the future of the building. The book outlines the plans we have and all the exciting projects we hope to achieve within the building.

To support the project and help us raise funds to complete the Ritz revival, you can preorder (available January 14) our Ritz Cinema book from the Off The Bench Shop.

Pete Genders runs Off The Bench, a Lincoln-based voluntary organisation that has set out at the beginning of 2012 to bring back the Ritz cinema to its former glory. The organisation works with dozens of youth volunteers across the city, helping keep them off the streets, and also organises the Zombie Run.