103 E. Virginia Street,
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Previously operated by: Robb & Rowley-United Inc.
The Ritz Theatre is a two-story brick commercial block building. The Ritz Theatre opened October 8, 1928 and premiered the film “Our Dancing Daughters” starring Joan Crawford, Johnny Mack Brown, Nils Asther, Dorothy Sebastian and Anita Page, and was directed by Harry Beaumont. The film was considered to be an extremely important film for many reasons. For the first time, Joan Crawford revealed her real acting abilities in a meaty role. Its place in the transition between silent films and talkies is also important, as it was one of the last great silent films in the late-1920’s that preserved forever how sound was gradually incorporated into MGM’s major productions. The theatre installed air conditioned in 1929 and stayed in operation as a movie theatre until closing in 1974. It continued being used for special events into the mid-1980’s.
Eventually the building was purchased and rehabilitated into a multi-purpose facility providing retail and service space on the bottom floors and office space on the upper floors.
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