Ritz Theatre

108 N. Commerce Street,
Gainesville, TX 76240

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Opened October 2, 1937 with the name Ritz Theatre, this small town cinema strived to live up to its elegant name. A stepped neon marquee and rows of poster display cases dressed an otherwise ordinary commercial style facade.

A single aisle divided an auditorium that had little in the way of frills, but colorful lighting effects helped disguised this fact, and since there were never any intermissions decoration really didn’t matter.

The Ritz Theatre was closed in 1948.

Contributed by Jeff Chapman

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

raybradley on October 8, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Vintage photos of the exterior & interior can be seen by typing in name “Ritz”,
View link

Mildew on October 10, 2007 at 7:13 am

The Ritz Theater opened with a magnificent celebration October, 2, 1937, at 108 North Commerce.
Gainsville Pioneer A. V. Wade who was operating the Texan,and Plaza
noted seating capacity at the Ritz was 300.
The theater had the location for one of the citys earliest theaters,
Liberty, which had been opened in September, 1917, by R. C. Carson.
The Liberty closed after about 3 seasons in 1920.
The Ritz was very popular during its 11 years in operation, but the
times were changing by 1948, bringing about the end for the Ritz.
The theater has been mostly forgotten, except by a few who treasure
its historic part for the city of Gainsville.
Billy Holcomb Denison, Texas

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on June 27, 2009 at 4:41 am

A view of the Ritz Theatre from the late 1930s.

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