Art Theatre

954 Highland Avenue,
Montgomery, AL 36104

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Publix Theaters Corporation, Wilby-Kincey

Functions: Restaurant

Previous Names: Ritz Theatre, State Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Art Theatre

The Ritz Theatre was opened in the late-1920’s. By 1940 it had been renamed State Theatre and was operating as an African-American theatre. In 1952 it was renamed Art Theatre, and continued as an African-American theatres until it closed in the mid-1950’s. During its life it was operated by Publix followed by Wilby-Kincey.

By 2013, the building was in use as the Rose Supper Club.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Darren_Snow on April 14, 2021 at 10:26 pm

Planning to photograph a bunch of old theaters on a road trip and doing advance research…but I’m befuddled by this entry. Not sure what theater is featured in the above photo, but it’s certainly not the theater currently standing at the address of 954 Highland Av.–which is on a corner and not an angled intersection as shown. Also, the cars in the photo are from the late ‘50s or early '60s, by which time the Ritz–according to the caption–had long been renamed the Art. I’ll spend a little more time with the old city directories and see if I can help sort this out!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 13, 2021 at 6:52 am

The theater at 954 Highland is already listed at Cinema Treasures under the name State Theatre. Also, Darren Snow is right about the Ritz in the photo not being the one in Montgomery.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 13, 2021 at 8:04 am

The Digital Archive of Alabama has that photo, and says that the buildings were on the south side of Coosa Street between Bibb and North Court, so it is Montgomery after all. They date the photo August 4, 1966. The entire block has since been demolished. We have no theaters listed at this location. I’ve been unable to find anything about it on the Internet. CinemaTour has a Ritz listed in Montgomery, but has no address for it.

A Ritz Theatre was listed at Montgomery in the 1929 FDY, but I have no idea if it was this one. This is quite a puzzle.

Padawg on October 20, 2023 at 5:23 pm

I am researching this city block for another project and discovered that this theatre was built about 1946 at 3 Coosa St. It is shown on a 1951 Sanborn map as a “colored” movie house and was demolished about 1973 for the construction of a parking garage for the First National Bank. The 1946 city directory lists Donald E. Wenger as its manager. Wenger had been a motion picture exhibitor in Montgomery from the late 1940s through 1960, when he took over as a dealer for Niagara Cycle Therapy Health Equipment (The Montgomery Advertiser, February 15, 1960, page 5).

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.