Ritz Theatre

119 N. Main Street,
Clinton, TN 37716

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Ritz Theatre

The Ritz Theatre was located on the town square across from the Court House. It opened in 1945 and closed as a movie theatre in 1969. It was reopened again in 1972 and housed the Red Speeks Country Music Show which was a local radio show. It was closed again in 1987.

In 2000 it was cleaned up, remodeled and reopened featuring movies and live performances. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 20, 2007 at 7:51 pm

The Ritz was listed in the 1970 motion picture almanac, but it may have closed before press time. The operator at that time was the Rockwood Amusement Company out of Nashville.

inspiredreverie
inspiredreverie on November 18, 2008 at 8:14 pm

I remember when the Brocks' reopened the theatre. I lived in a small downtown apartment that was within walking distance to the theatre. My daughter and I would drive by the Ritz on our way home to see what movie was playing and it was always exciting for her to hear that we were going to see a show. We would grab a bite to eat at the Mexican Restaurant (which used to be downtown) and then walk our meal off on the way to the show. The Brocks hospitality is second to no other theatre I have visited and was always genuinely heart warming. I have lots of memories of various performances at the Ritz but those cold nights walking w/ my daughter are definitely the best. So that’s my stroll down memory lane and my ode to the Ritz.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 18, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Sure wonder what “An Evening In Mayberry” was in Lost Memory’s 2005 photo link.
Vintage Mayberry patrol cars out front and two showings? Must have been a unique event what ever it was.
Don’t know of any film of that name.
I’ll have to hit up the old imdb.

knoxploration
knoxploration on August 20, 2020 at 11:57 pm

There are several interesting things I’ve found online related to this theater. Of these, by far the most detailed, not surprisingly, is the National Register of Historic Places registration form, which covers its genesis, design, construction and the many alterations made over the years in extreme detail, complete with diagrams, quotes from historic newspaper articles and more:

https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/330817f7-06f0-479d-a5b9-6d6ac51b4177

There are also numerous historic photos of the Ritz in a separate document, although note that they may still be copyrighted:

https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/a0d9a95c-f0df-4672-a04c-87a3a69e5acd

An article from May 2000 discussing its resurrection can be found here:

https://web.ornl.gov/info/reporter/no15/etd.htm

Finally, a couple of photos of the Ritz playing backdrop to violent anti-desegregation protests in 1956 can be seen in an issue of Life Magazine from that year, courtesy of Google’s archive:

https://books.google.com/books?id=6kcEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA34&pg=PA34#v=onepage

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