Ritz Cinema

1705 Milam Street,
Shreveport, LA 71103

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Bijou Amusement Company

Previous Names: Ritz Theatre

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The Ritz Theatre was operating prior to 1941 and operated by the Bijou Amusement Company as an African-American theatre. It became segregated in 1959 and was closed in the early-1960’s to become the Lakeside Baptist Church.

It reopened as the Ritz Cinema in the late-1960’s playing Blaxploitation double bills. It closed on November 1, 1974 following the murder of the operator.

Contributed by Billy Smith / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on November 23, 2008 at 12:57 pm

“The Ritz was a segregated theater.”…Billy Smith

SingleScreen on June 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

I believe the exterior marquee is still visible. I have driven by it several times. Building is boarded up. I will try to take a photo next time I am in the area.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Billy and Don I have the Ritz being run in 1956 by Bijou Amusement Company 423 Fourth Ave.N.,Nashville,Tenn. Milton Starr President and Evans Sprott,Gen.Manager. They also ran the STAR THEATRE in Shreveport. 1956 Motion picture Almanac.

TLSLOEWS on June 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Thanks Mike for the info,I will check if I can find any info on Bijou Amusement Co. First I have heard of them,but by the address they were just around corner from the Loews Crescent.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 26, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Nashville had quite a bit of film and theatre business according to my 1956 almanac.

TLSLOEWS on June 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Yes I know but I was not born till 1957,so I do not remember.By the way I believe that I have read that the Bijou theatre was Nashvilles first,now back to the Ritz.

dallasmovietheaters on January 12, 2018 at 1:43 pm

The theatre was largely an African American theatre though became segregated in 1959. Its continuous film run was interrupted in the early 1960s becoming the Lakeside Baptist Church in the 1963 before returning for an ill-fated cinematic run at decade’s end. It finished its run as the Ritz Cinema with Blaxploitation double features in the 1970s. Appears to have closed after the operator was murdered on November 1, 1974.

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