Ritz Theatre

216 SW C Avenue,
Lawton, OK 73501

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The Orpheum Theatre was opened prior to 1920. In 1927 it was listed with 750 seats. It was closed during the early-1930’s and had reopened by 1933 with 800 seats. By 1934 it had been renamed Ritz Theatre. By 1943 it was listed with 1,000 seats. It was still open in 1957.

Contributed by Lauren Grubb

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 19, 2007 at 7:19 pm

It looks like the letters on the building spell “Newman”. I think the building was named first and the theater was added later, by the appearance in the photo.

seymourcox on September 27, 2007 at 7:16 pm

Grand opening ads clearly list the Reno Theater as a Griffith Bros. house. Have no proof that the Midwest or Pix were ever Video operations, but have heard that they were during their last few years. Tulsa Circle was definitely run by Video.
Another (and better) view of the (Lawton?) Ritz …
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Rodney on September 28, 2007 at 1:23 pm

What difference does it make if Video Independent Theatres operated one or a dozan porn theatres? Everyone knows they regularly booked X-rated product into several of their theatres.
Anyway, both the Pix and Reno were closed long before 1968, and before hard-core films came out of the closet,
Nuf sed!

kencmcintyre on September 28, 2007 at 1:35 pm

The 1981 IMPA shows these Video Independent theaters in Lawton:
Vaska, 82nd Street Twin Drive-In, Video Twin Theater, Showcase Twin.

In 1970 the lineup was a bit different: Lawton, Diana, Vaska, Ritz, Auston Drive-In, Capitol Drive-In.

CaptainBazzark on November 10, 2007 at 10:43 am

I’ve been told that throughout the 30’s & 40’s when not showing second run movies the Ritz was an on and off burlesque house. Listen to the type music the small house band would have played for strip-tease performers -
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seymourcox on April 13, 2009 at 10:22 am

Sorry it took two years to respond, but my interest in cinema history comes and goes.
I gathered a lot of info about Video theatres from morgue newspaper articles, ads, and also by word of mouth.
It would have been prior to 1968 when Video operated the Pix, Reno, and Midwest. These theatres were listed together within Video theatre block ads.
I believe Video operated the Circle Cinema in Tulsa because I have heard that it was managed by Ed Swallow who later transferred to Okmulgee (his home town) to manage the Orpheum.

kencmcintyre on May 17, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Here is a November 1972 ad from the Lawton Constitution. I guess Lusticolor never really caught on.

raybradley on March 2, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Here is what the neighborhood looks like these days, the Ritz is long gone!
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rivest266 on March 29, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Listings stopped in 1974. Adult movies in its last few years.

RDuncan1944 on March 29, 2015 at 5:47 pm

built in 1917, didn’t have a roof in the beginning, open air theater.had island box office, had 2 balconies. the back balcony was for African americans.dressing rooms in basement. lights suspended by ropes. approx. 1700 seats.closed during depression and bought by leonard jones. leased by video theaters around 1950. Ronald Duncan 580-379-0362.

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