Ritz Theatre

103 W. Third Street,
Sheffield, AL 35660

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Ritz Theatre - 2011

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built as a playhouse, the Ritz Theatre was opened on July 9, 1928 with a production of “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds”. Louis Rosenbaum was the district manager of Muscle Shoals Theatre, the company that owned the theatre, and C.J. Ross was the first manager of the Ritz Theatre. The Ritz Theatre had a seating capacity of 408 downstairs, 173 in the ‘white’ balcony and 101 in the ‘colored’ balcony, a total of 682 seats. The theatre had a Wurlitzer organ. It was refitted in 1933 to accomodate talkies and to undergo a sleek Art Deco style makeover. On Saturday January 23, 1933, the theatre had another ‘Grand Opening’ when President Roosevelt visited Florence that day.

The Ritz Theatre remained one of Sheffield’s most popular movie houses until it went out of business on June 9, 1951.

In 1985, the Ritz Theatre was purchased by the Tennesse Valley Arts Association, and restored to its 1930’s appearance, complete with its unusual auditorium side wall decoration, resembling giant fans.

The Ritz Theatre is now home to the Center Stage Community Theater, which performs both classic and contemporary plays in the setting of a classic small town movie house.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 16, 2005 at 4:27 am

Both those photos are of the interior and identical.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 6, 2006 at 3:34 pm

This is a photo of the Ritz theater in Sheffield.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 9, 2006 at 5:48 am

Here is a website for the Ritz theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 11, 2006 at 1:14 pm

This is a larger photo of the Ritz Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 17, 2007 at 5:03 pm

Here is a vintage photo of the Ritz Theater. Date given with photo is 1939.

DonLewis
DonLewis on July 6, 2008 at 8:18 am

A 1986 view of the Ritz in Sheffield here and here.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm

The 1947 IMPA shows the Rosenbaum Theatres chain as headquartered in Florence, AL. President was Louis Rosenbaum. This chain ran the Colbert and Ritz in Sheffield as well as a few other theaters in Alabama.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Sorry, slight mistake on my part-that information is from the 1958 IMPA.

ShoalsSound
ShoalsSound on September 12, 2011 at 5:55 pm

“Neoclassical” should be added to the styles list, since that’s pretty much the top two-thirds of the facade. Only the lower third is Art Deco, due to a renovation in the 30’s.

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