Ritz Theatre

1921 Hollywood Boulevard,
Hollywood, FL 33020

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc.

Architects: Jas. D. Benson

Firms: Benson & Barbat

Previous Names: Hollywood Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Ritz Theatre

The Hollywood Theatre was situated in a two story stand alone building in downtown Hollywood, FL on Hollywood Boulevard near N. 19th Street and Young Circle Park. It opened on March 18, 1925 with Douglas Fairbanks in “The Thief of Bagdad”. It was designed by architect Jas. D. Benson of architectural firm Benson & Barbat.

It was renamed Ritz Theatre in 1935 and was still open in 1943 when it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary E.J. Sparks. Above a rain canopy that extended from the building front was a large vertical sign with “RITZ” spelled out in individual lettering. It was closed in the 1940’s and was demolished.

In December 1956 a Hollywood Cinema opened on Harrison Street which has its own page on Cinema Treasures.

Contributed by Billy Holcomb / Don Lewis / Billy Smith

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 26, 2015 at 2:51 pm

The house that later became the Ritz opened as the Hollywood Theatre in 1923 or 1924. It was located at 1921 Hollywood Boulevard. According to A Guide to Historic Hollywood: A Tour Through Place and Time, by Joan Mickelson (Google Books preview) it was renamed the Ritz in 1935. This was after a new Hollywood Theatre (later the Hollywood Cinema) was opened on Harrison Street. The Ritz operated at least into the 1940s. It has been demolished.

robboehm on November 26, 2015 at 8:03 pm

A different Google Books author, Bonnie Wilson, sites 1926 as the year in which the theater opened. She also mentions that ushers would spray patrons with mosquito repellent as they entered the theater. Nice. The former theater became a retail store after it closed sometime in the 1940s.

David_Schneider on October 6, 2020 at 10:31 am

Click here to see a nice photo of when this was the Hollywood Theatre from the blog “Florida’s Hollywood: History and People” by Joan Mickelson, Ph. D.

David_Schneider on October 6, 2020 at 10:42 am

The Apple Maps image shows the location as being within ArtsPark at Young Circle but the correct location is west of there on the north side of Hollywood Boulevard, shown correctly on Google Maps.

David_Schneider on November 25, 2020 at 2:09 pm

I have uploaded photos I took of a historical marker/plaque for the Hollywood Theatre/Ritz Theatre that is attached to the wall on the left end of the storefront at 1921 Hollywood Boulevard that has been the home of Mickey Byrne’s Irish Pub & Restaurant for several years. The plaque includes a description and an archival photo.

The spot where the plaque is placed against the wall painted orange is visible in the 2019 Google Street View image.

Click here for a map of downtown Hollywood’s historic landmark plaques, though the Hollywood/Ritz is the only former theatre so recognized probably because the others arrived later and the marker project is about the city’s earliest important businesses.

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