Ritz Theatre

1106-1108 N. 40th Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Additional Info

Architects: Joseph Levin

Previous Names: Parkway Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Courtesy of David Loose, 6-22-21

Located in the Belmont district, in the west of Philadelphia. Two brick houses were demolished so this theatre could be built. The front of the theatre had a marquee, but otherwise was plain. The interior was simple. It was going to be named Poplar Theatre, but there was another theatre of that name, so it opened in 1914 showing silent movies as the Parkway Theatre, since the new theatre was less than a block away from Fairmount Park. The theatre changed management several times.

In February 1928 new management took over and the name was changed to Ritz Theatre. An American made theatre pipe organ was installed to replace the piano that had been used to accompany silent films.

On September 15, 1929 it was announced that the Ritz Theatre would be permanently closed, but it may have lasted as a movie theatre until 1945 when a zoning permit was granted for it to be used as a dry cleaner store.. It went over to being used as an appliance shop. The building found other new uses and as of 2021 the building with a marquee survives although vacant, as its last use as a laundry/laundromat & beauty salon have closed down. Thanks are given to Irvin R. Glazer for the research as reflected in his hardback book on Philadelphia theatres, and Jay Farrell of Philadelphia for his research.

Contributed by Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 23, 2021 at 6:29 pm

The Parkway Theatre was listed at 40th and Poplar Street in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory.

Judging from the old signage, Barb’s Beauty Salon, Bob’s Deli, and the coin operated laundromat were all in operation at the same time. Very convenient. The ladies could get their hair done while their laundry was washing, then pick up some cold cuts and a pickle for lunch on their way out.

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.