Comments from dearbhforgaill

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dearbhforgaill commented about Ritz Theatre and Performing Arts Center on Oct 17, 2004 at 5:28 pm

The Ritz used to be the old Comerford Theatre. Unfortunately, much of Scranton’s vaudeville past is gone now. There was a saying in vaudeville that if you could make it in Scranton, you were ready for New York. And, indeed, many shows were tried out in Scranton before they went to Broadway. The Masonic Temple (aka the Scranton Cultural Center) is the last of the old vaudeville palaces and it’s in serious need of repair. Lackawanna Avenue, where the Steamtown Mall is now, used to be the theatre district of Scranton back in the day. Unfortunately, all of those buildings are gone. Also, the old Westside Theatre on Main Street (I think) in West Scranton was an amazing bit of pre-depression theatre architecture. It was a movie theatre for a number of years and there was a brief period in the late 80s when there were live shows playing there. I believe that it had also been a dance club for about 6 months. Sadly, there was an “accidental” fire in the early 90s that destroyed the theatre, the old organ, and several antique costumes that were below boards. The theatre is now offices and apartments. You can still smell that wonderful theatre smell, though. The old ghosts refuse the bring the curtain down on an incredible house.