New Ritz Theatre
107 E. Main Avenue,
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Architects: Bjarne H. Moe
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Ritz Theatre
Opened in 1937 with 400-seats, the Ritz Theatre sits at the edge of Ritzville’s small downtown. It’s large enough to be multiplexed, but still has just one screen. The name ‘RITZ’ is on a tower at the left end of the building. Judging from old postcards, it was once red enamel with light (yellow?) letters, but is now painted in nauseating putty pink like the rest of the building, with the neon tubes removed.
Taken over by new management in 2014, it was re-named Ritz Theatre (again) and the seating capacity has been reduced to 250.
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2011 photos can be seen here and here.
Here is a link to the Boxoffice Magazine article that Mr. Vogel refers to. Also available from boxoffice.com as a PDF.
The local weekly paper featured a snippet about the theater in its “Remembering from the Files” feature last year under the “75 years ago” section. A PDF is available.
Another “Remembering from the Files” blurb about transfer of ownership. This must be the “other theater in town” people have asked about. A PDF is available.
The Kendrick Collection of photographs (search for “theater” or “main street”), available for viewing on the Washington State Digital Archives page, is an excellent source for older photos of the theater around the time it was first built.
The collection also has a few photos of the “original” Ritz theater, which looks to have been located near the train depot.
“Artist’s Drawing of new $30,000 Theater at Ritzville” from April 8, 1937 of the Spokesman Review includes fun tidbit about the theater being the first in Adams County to be air-conditioned.
Does anyone remember a person by the name E.R Bechtel I found a watch at a auction his name engraved on the watch with bf shearer 1946 I was wondering if relatives r still around my email is
They will be showing Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend while it is still in Spokane!! Cant wait to go, as I havent been to a movie in years!!
The B.F. Shearer company was a huge theater equipment dealer all up and down the west coast during the late 1940’s through the mid 1960’s. They had offices in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
No website. Movie showtimes are listed on their Facebook page.