CAMPAIGNERS say they will continue to fight to save Mr Smiths despite imminent plans to knock the building down.
Diane Kerfoot, aged 45, of Hopefield Road, Lymm, has started a Facebook group called ‘Save Mr Smiths’.
She first recalls queuing for seven hours to see Grease when it was the ABC Cinema, and spent teenage nights on the dance floor of the nightclub.
“It’s an iconic building and a massive part of Warrington’s history,” she said.
“We don’t want to see it demolished and flats put up there.”
The Facebook group has 1,198 ‘likes’ so far, with supporters calling for the building to be re-developed.
As revealed in the Warrington Guardian, demolition can take place from August 11.
Salford-based property development company LPC Living now says, legally, it could take place any time in the following 12 months.
LPC is managing the site, and said a date has yet to be confirmed when work will start.
However, after the Warrington Guardian requested access to the inside of Smiths, LPC said the building has been ‘readied for demolition’, and would not be safe.
Builders were also seen last week clearing debris from outside the building with ‘investigations ongoing’ into demolition.
LPC has said it aims to create a ‘sustainable development’ for people who ‘live and work’ in Warrington, and has agreed to meet campaigners.
Les Bradshaw, of Eastford Road, Walton, is supporting the Save Mr Smiths campaign.
He believes the building should be re-developed into a theatre under the name of beloved Warrington-born actor Pete Postlethwaite.
Mr Bradshaw, who remembers huge queues for the restaurant at the Ritz, said: “The building is fantastic and should be opened as the Pete Postlethwaite theatre, to recognise our greatest son.”
The idea of a theatre has also proved popular on the Facebook group, with Mrs Kerfoot due to meet an LPC Living official today, Thursday.
She added: “A lot of people would like to see it as a theatre, in the name of Pete Postlethwaite.
“People wouldn’t have to go to Liverpool or Manchester.
“It could be a facility that people come from out of town to visit.”
To join the campaign, search Save Mr Smiths on Facebook.