Ritz Theater

997 Mississippi Boulevard,
Memphis, TN 38126

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Site of the Ace/Ritz theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Ace Theater was opened in 1927. It was operated as a Negro' theatre from at least 1940 until 1955 when it was known as the Ritz Theater.

The Ritz Theater was closed in 1967. It was demolished in 1983 and the site used as a parking lot.

(Note:There was another Ritz Theatre located further along at 1490 Mississippi Boulevard which operated from 1959.)

Contributed by Jack Coursey, Vincent Astor

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 8, 2005 at 1:59 am

The Film Daily Yearbook’s, 1941 and 1943 give a seating capacity of 500 and it is also listed in the Negro theatre section. The 1950 edition of F.D.Y. gives a 700 seat capacity (still a Negro theatre)

GeorgeStrum
GeorgeStrum on January 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Could Elvis have attended this theatre?

juliagreen
juliagreen on March 10, 2010 at 7:04 pm

If Elvis was a Negro.

juliagreen
juliagreen on March 10, 2010 at 7:06 pm

It is pretty clear from satellite imagery that this theatre is no longer there. Status should be closed/demolished. The site currently appears to be a park and playground.

DoctorPhil
DoctorPhil on November 7, 2010 at 4:29 am

My dad and his brother owned and operated this theater from the time it opened until it closed, probably in the wake of the MLK assassination. It plus the Ace and the Georgia were all part of the orginal group which they owned and all were in black neighborhoods that could be pretty rough on weekends.

vastor
vastor on November 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Dave Lebovitz owned and operated several “Colored” movie theaters: Ace, Harlem, and Georgia. He and his brother also owned and operated three Drive-in movies: Sky-Vue, Lamar, and Sunset (West Memphis).

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on December 10, 2012 at 7:16 am

This webpage has some more information about the Ace and shows an aerial view of its former site.

vastor
vastor on December 15, 2012 at 11:28 am

Got tired of that inaccurate Google view so I posted a photo of the actual site. You can see a section of the remaining building’s wall in the American Classic Images photo of the Ritz. The entry faced Mississippi and the theatre was in the larger building to the left. All is demolished.

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