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After reopening Sept 10, 2021 from the March 2020 Covid shutdown, the Ritz East closed again October 10, 2021, its fate uncertain!
the original run of A Raisin in the Sun.
Last week, I had a wonderful visit to the Ritz with Bruce Curless, the founder and director of the theater company that operates it. I added 26 photos. Some interesting tidbits of history:
The ticket booth’s lower panel was covered with aluminum before they tookover but inside the theater is seen in the original marble or stone.
The main, concession lobby, now has to its far left an entry to another room but originally ended with decoration like on the right side. The room that is now entered has a framed carpet that was the original carpet, and was found in a closet at the auditorium’s rear that was turned into a handicapped accessible bathroom.
Most of the light fixtures are not original to the theater except the ticket lobby’s ceiling’s fixtures.(the ticket lobby being where the ticket booth backs up into) In the auditorium, there are 4 chandeliers previously at a church and the central chandelier is from a lighting company.
When they tookover, the movie screen & carbon arc projectors were still there. They tried films with vaudeville but too few attended. The screen is gone. Someone was allowed to take the projectors.
There was a balcony to the left and right of the projection booth. To the left is now the Green Room. The right is also no longer used as a balcony.
The auditorium’s original proscenium arch is present, but often hidden by drapery for shows.
Outside, at the auditorium’s rear is a walled up section that Bruce says was for sound speakers when talkies arrived, but later walled up as speakers became smaller.
I’ve seen a movie in the RPX there. It is a much larger screen. Not matted for ‘scope films. Seats are nicer. I believe sound is better. The auditorium looks & functions much differently than the regular auditoriums.
That is the original 1927 marquee.
The Philadelphia Inquirer in print today has the obit of the sculptor of the art seen on the theater facade in a 2017 photo that I posted.
Headlines William P. Daley, celebrated ceramic artist and longtime professor, dies at 96
Former Inquirer art critic Edward J. Sozanski called his work “both humble because of their reddish, raw-clay color and regal because of their carefully calculated symmetries.”
NOT ALL OF THE ARTICLE, BUT MUCH-
William P. Daley, 96, an internationally celebrated ceramic artist and art professor, died Sunday, Jan. 16, of heart failure at his home in Elkins Park.
Mr. Daley was part of what is known as the American studio craft movement, a shift that took root after World War II during which artists rejected mass production of both crafts and art and combined the two. Mr. Daley worked most often in clay — he called it mud — and many of his pieces, true to the movement, are equally functional and inspiring.
As an example, Mr. Daley noted in a 2010 Inquirer video that a cistern he created not only collected water but was specifically designed to convey “the idea that rain is a sacred event.”
“Craft is absolutely vital to making art,” Mr. Daley said in the video. “But if it’s only craft, it can’t be art. … All art has to be useful
either psychically, intellectually, or emotionally.”
In addition to his many signature pieces of large unglazed stoneware vessels, Mr. Daley created screens, walls, fountains, and other objects. His work is shown in museums in Philadelphia, New York, Washington, London, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, and elsewhere.
His large-scale architecture can be seen, among other places, in Philadelphia at Landmark’s Ritz Five movie theater on Dock Street, and Germantown Friends School on West Coulter Street; and in West Chester at the Westminster Presbyterian Church on West Pleasant Grove Road.
Elisabeth Agro, curator of American modern and contemporary crafts and decorative arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, said Mr. Daley “profoundly influenced many in the field of American craft” and “engaged in deep contemplation of mankind’s ‘inner spiritual grace.’”
Ruth Fine, former curator of special projects in modern art at Washington’s National Gallery of Art, said Mr. Daley was of “immense importance in [Philadelphia’s] attention to the craft-based arts.”
Mr. Daley also taught in the crafts and industrial design departments at Philadelphia College of Art, now University of the Arts, from 1957 to 1990, and dozens of his students went on to distinguish themselves in ceramics, glass, furniture, and design.
William R. Valerio, the director and CEO of Philadelphia’s Woodmere Art Museum, called Mr. Daley “a generous teacher who made an impact on the thinking of generations of artists.”
Mr. Daley held dozens of exhibitions, received many awards for both his art and teaching — including the 1991 College Art Association of America Distinguished Teaching of Art Award — and wrote for his own website. He and Helen Drutt were founders of the Philadelphia Council of Professional Craftsmen, and the Helen Drutt Gallery in Philadelphia was his primary dealer.
He sometimes even encouraged those viewing his work to handle the pieces to better embrace their emotional impact. “All art is that connection between one human being and another, a kind of communication,” he said in 2010.
In 2009, Inquirer art critic Edward J. Sozanski wrote that “the physical presence of [Mr. Daley’s] work is forceful and inescapable” and that “one is able to appreciate both the formal ingenuity and seductiveness of the compositions and the perceptual dualities they generate.”
Mr. Daley was born March 7, 1925, in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, was shot down on his first mission as a tail gunner, and spent a year as a prisoner of war in Turkey and Germany before being liberated.
Using the GI Bill, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art education from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1950 and two years later earned a master’s degree in education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
I have right up there in the Intro that Aud 12 is the RPX. I fully expect it is still being used as RPX.
The ceiling light fixtures are original. Many of the theater’s other light fixtures are not original to this theater, but these are.
typo- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence.
HowardBHaasHowardBHaas on January 23, 2022 at 7:04 am (remove)
I posted 10 photos. Last night, with 2 friends, drove from Philadelphia and enjoyed “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962) projected in 35mm via 1938 Simplex projectors & carbon arc projection, a rarity now anywhere in the world! Classic movies done right! The organ played, intro was given, vintage trailers & shorts, the curtain opened, movie was shown. Movie was only $6, popcorn was only $2.
At least one article says “rehabbing the marquee” Many now have electronic signage on the marquee rather than just letters.
yes, back in August 2021 when a classics festival was held, including “A Man and a Woman” at the Paris, it was asserted by the theater that it was the longest running Paris movie, and that it had run 65 weeks. Thanks to Al for his list, too.
The comment was removed. The CVS space is that of the lobby and the auditorium.
No, I am member of the public who very much enjoys seeing movies here. I do assist as I can with this website.
I added my photo of the 2014 70mm leaflet which does not mention L of A or West Side Story. The theater closed in March 2020 due to Covid, for the rest of the year.
I saw “The King’s Man” in aud 4 on 12-21-21. This was the 1st time I was ever in an Alamo. The place was great! Glamorous with a nice bar, super friendly staff, and all the public areas were decorated to the hilt with patterned wallpaper & carpet, sconces that resemble film reels. The auditorium had much leg room & comfort. Vintage film clips were the preshow. There were no trailers, though I am told usually there are. Food service in the auditorium was unobtrusive.
JodarMovieFan, I saw “Licorice Pizza” in 70mm at NYC’s Village East. I document the 70mm screenings for the 70mm newsletter, so that’s why I asked. I was not aware either Landmark showed films in 70mm. The movie is worthwhile & looked great in 70mm.
JodarMovieFan, is “Licorice Pizza” the Paul Anderson film, to play here or Bethesda or both, in 70mm?
I’m told by Mark the projectionist that “It’s A Wonderful Life” print is a pristine 35mm print, from the Library of Congress, looking glorious! It will be screened tomorrow at 2 PM and 7 PM.