Ritz Theatre

111 E. Market,
Clearfield, PA 16830

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wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on June 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania economic development officials have awarded $180,000 to a pair of Clearfield County revitalization projects, according to State Sen. John Wozniak.

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will give a Keystone Communities grant of $150,000 to address flood protection in Coalport and $30,000 to help renovate the Ritz Theater in Clearfield.

“State investments in our communities are important and that’s why I am pleased that funding for key projects in Clearfield County has been aggressively pursued by local officials and groups,” said Wozniak

“Funding for the preliminary work on a flood control project in Coalport and the revitalization of the Ritz Theater in Clearfield Borough will help the communities grow and prosper.”

Clearfield Borough, on behalf of the Clearfield Revitalization Corp. (CRC), will utilize $30,000 as a grant-to-loan to fund the preservation of the historical Ritz Theater by converting to a digital projection system.

“Clearfield Borough expresses its sincere appreciation to the Office of the Governor and to the DCED for their continuing support of our community revitalization efforts,” said Leslie Stott, Clearfield Borough operations manager.

“This redevelopment grant-to-loan award has allowed the CRC to help the historic Ritz Theater survive through the film industry’s transition to digital technology and to sustain its community development efforts into the future.”

The remaining grant for $150,000 will focus on expenses associated with the preliminary work for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Flood Protection Project in the Borough of Coalport, which will address flood protection issues and construction plans.

An estimated $12 million in property would be protected as a result of this project, along with helping to stimulate new business development by addressing flood risk concerns.

“Located in southern Clearfield County, Coalport Borough has experienced flooding since 1936. In 1959 Glendale Dam was built to help control the flooding; however, major flooding still occurs along Clearfield Creek in Coalport Borough and parts of Beccaria Township,” said Lisa Kovalick, community development specialist with the Clearfield County Planning & Community Development Office.

“This $150,000 grant for development from the Keystone Communities program along with $290,000 in matching funds, will allow the Borough to prepare for the flood project, protecting, residents and their homes, businesses, infrastructure and industry in southern Clearfield County.”

The Keystone Communities program was created in 2011 to assist commonwealth communities in achieving redevelopment. The program supports physical improvements to both designated and other communities that are undertaking revitalization to restore deteriorated downtowns, residential neighborhoods and industrial/manufacturing sites.

RSM3853
RSM3853 on January 15, 2013 at 11:11 am

Sorry for the typo – it’s the Sherkel, not the Sheckel Theater in Houtzdale.

RSM3853
RSM3853 on January 15, 2013 at 11:06 am

The Ritz was twinned in 1971. It closed the week of May 19-26, 1971 for the renovations, and the two smaller theaters opened separately. The Ritz I opened on July 14, 1971 with “Love Story” and the Ritz II on August 7, 1971 with “Ryan’s Daughter.”

Although it probably was still standing and was used for special events, the Lyric Theater doesn’t show any films advertised for the rest of 1967 past “Warning Shot” the week of February 22, 1967.

Other area theaters were the Rex in Curwensville, the Sheckel in Houtzdale, the Super 322 Drive-In between Clearfield and Philipsburg, and of course, the Rowland in Philipsburg, PA.

Jacker
Jacker on October 30, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Any new pics or info on this theatre!

Jacker
Jacker on October 26, 2008 at 10:10 am

Anyone know of any theatres for sale in Pa.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on September 17, 2007 at 8:05 am

The Ritz didn’t have a balcony. It just had the main floor which means that a wall now goes down the center isle and most likely seats were removed.

In a town of under 9000 that wouldn’t matter much though except for purests.

For a small town though the Ritz was a really nice theater as were the others that were there when I was a child.

Every Saturday afternoon I would either go to the Lyric or Ritz, and once the Roxy which was also a nice theater in it’s day.

For a small town like Clearfield to have 3 theaters was something special.

My cousin owned the Rex Theater in Curvinsville but I never saw it so if anyone has pictures of that theater I sure would like to see them.

Patsy
Patsy on September 17, 2007 at 7:38 am

This theatre has a great looking marquee though don’t like to read that it has been “twinned” which usually means separating/dividing off the balcony from the main auditorium.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 16, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Here is a May 1950 ad from the Progress, a local paper:
http://tinyurl.com/yv85ls

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on January 7, 2007 at 3:18 am

I was just a little girl when I lived in Clearfield … we moved when I was 10 so any teater was large to me. I do recall though that the Lyric had live stage shows as well as movies and I had the opportunity to see a couple of them as well as my Mother’s last radio broadcast which as I said was done from the stage of the Lyric.

The Lyric was set up for stage shows and had dressing rooms back stage.

I’m sorry to hear that Leitzingers closed because the station that Mother worked at did shows from their record department every Saturday morning.

We moved from Clearfield in 1950 so I’d probably not recognize the town now.

rrshow1
rrshow1 on January 6, 2007 at 5:08 pm

The Roxy building still stands on 3rd street. It was already closed when I moved to Clearfield in 1959, with only the framing of the marquee left. We could look into the lobby through dirty windows and see the snack bar with its' popcorn machine looking ready to go. The building was used by the Leitzinger Department Store for storage until they closed in the 90’s.
The Lyric Theater was almost across the street from the Roxy. It had a very short auditiorium but did have a balcony with steps going up each side of the lobby. It didn’t have a covered “outdoor lobby” as the Ritz used to have, but had the ticket box located right at the sidewalk. It was a much more intimate theater than the Ritz, as you sat close to the screen.
The Ritz seemed larger but without a balcony, its' seating may have been smaller. It seemed to be a long way from the back rows to the screen, especially on a kids' matinee with hundreds of screaming kids! Matinees were 25 cents and we went at least every week.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 30, 2006 at 11:25 am

There was a premiere at the Ritz on April 17, 1940. Other theaters advertised that day were the Lyric, Roxy, Dixie in Coalport and Rex in Curwensville.

Everything Ready For Big Premiere Tonight

Everything is in readiness for the presentation of the Hollywood Premiere and Clearfleld Follies at the Ritz Theatre tonight. Promptly at seven o'clock, the first car will arrive at the theatre entrance, where under batteries of flood and studio lights, the stars will be greeted and introduced to the theatre going throngs. Then the stars will be escorted to seats reserved for them in the audience until they are called to the stage to do their bit in the Follies.

There will be two complete shows with the stars arriving at 7, the stage show starting at 7:15 and the feature at 7:55. The second show will begin at 9:15. There will be a special matinee for children only at 4 o'clock and no children will be admitted for the evening
performance without their parents. The theatre will close at 6 o'clock to permit the staff of the theatre to make the theatre ready for the Premiere. The box-office will reopen at 6:45.

All the marvelous coiffures worn by the stars tonight will be the creations of the expert operators at the Prave Beauty Salon whose advertisement will be found in this issue. Due to an oversight the ad was not included in yesterday’s paper.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on October 23, 2006 at 5:09 pm

Clearfield once had three theaters – The Ritz – The Lyric and The Roxy.

Does anyone happen to have any pictures of the Lyric and the Roxy?

My mother did her last broadcast from the stage of the Lyric to a full house.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on October 23, 2006 at 5:01 pm

When I was little, the Ritz was a very nice theater that my family attended often.

Smaller than the Lyric which was Clearfield’s largest theater that often had stage shows along with movies, the Ritz was considered the town’s best.

Patsy
Patsy on April 9, 2006 at 5:55 am

Lost Memory: Great photo. Thanks.

Patsy
Patsy on September 5, 2005 at 4:24 pm

Can anyone provide a photo(s)?

rocsal
rocsal on August 1, 2005 at 2:37 pm

I would very much like to get a copy of the picture you have of the Ritz and contact information for the current manager. I beleive my grandfather Charles Richelieu was the one who converted it. He may have had a busines partner named or Thompson. I think Mr
Thompson bought out his portion of the theater in 1934.
I believe he orginally bought a theater on Locust street called the Lyric while he converted the Ritz. My mother said the orginal ceiling had lights in ceiling like many onthers of the time, and that there were white columns on the side to make it look like a “Roman Garden”

richardg
richardg on May 28, 2005 at 7:25 pm

Sorry for the omitted words, I guess I hit submit instead of preview. Anyway, the manager gave me the grand tour and not “gave me got the grand tour”. Another sentence should read: “Although this is the most recent theatre that I’ve viewed”, not “ … . . the most theatre that I’ve viewed”. It was far from that.

richardg
richardg on May 28, 2005 at 2:49 pm

I only recently discovered this theatre and got to see the inside only through a fluke. I got some of the theatre’s history from the coin shop operator which occupies one of the store fronts in the theatre building. Just before I left Clearfield, I took a picture of the marquee from across the street. While taking the pictures someone standing under the marquee started waving to me. It turned out he was the manager and he gave me got the grand tour. I also got to view some vintage photo’s of the theatre. Although this is the most theatre that I’ve viewed, I’ve still got lots more to submit. So suffer you will!