222 Wyoming Avenue,
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Ritz Theater (Official)
Architects: Albert E. Westover
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Poli Theatre, Comerford Theatre, Ritz Dinner Theatre & Restaurant, Ritz Theatre and Performing Arts Center
News About This Theater
Built by vaudeville theatre magnate Sylvester Poli, the Poli Theatre opened on September 2, 1907 and was built for a then monumental sum of $250,000. A large vaudeville house, the Poli Theatre seated more than 2,000 patrons in orchestra, balcony and 2nd balcony levels.
The Poli Theatre was later acquired by the Union Theater Company in 1924.
On October 6, 1930, the theatre began showing movies only and was renamed Ritz Theatre. In 1937, it was remodeled in an Art Deco style and renamed again as the Comerford Theatre from September 16, 1937. The seating capacity was now 1,600 after the 2nd balcony level had been removed. By 1941 it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Frank Walker. It was remodeled with a new interior designed by B. Allman & Company of New York, and reopened on May 5, 1950 with Lizbeth Scott ‘Scranton’s Own’ in “Paid in Full”.
The theatre lasted for decades and in its last years was a dollar house struggling against a local UA multiplex. In 1978 the main floor was converted into a mini-mall, and the theatre operation was in the former balcony.
In the early-2000’s the Ritz Theatre, with its nearly 100 years of service closed.
In 2008, the Ritz Theatre reopened as a dinner theater and restaurant, with a piano bar and club with live performances. However this was a short lived venture. In late-2016 it was taken over by the Crative Performing Arts Academy and presents movies for its students. It reopened to the general public in March 2017.
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