201 W. Ohio Street,
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This theater originally opened in 1912, as the 600-plus seat New Rockville Opera House on Ohio Street (later the “New” portion of the name was dropped). For its first 15 or so years, the Opera House presented mostly live acts, but also did feature some silent film screenings as well. It wasn’t until 1929, when the Opera House was wired for sound that it switched to mainly movies.
The theater was heavily remodeled in 1937, when its name was changed to the Ritz Theater, and its interior was redone in Art Moderne style, the original Neo-Classical decor all but lost. Also, a new marquee was added at this time, which was itself replaced again in the late-1940’s with the current semi-circular shaped Streamline style marquee.
The Ritz Theater closed as a movie house in 1969, but was purchased from its last owner by the Rockville Chamber of Commerce. It has been the home of the Parke Players since 1971, and since that time, has been constantly under renovation and restoration. The Players continue to present live theater on the Ritz' stage today.
There is a great deal more information on the history of the Ritz Theater as well as many photos of the theater on the Parke Players' website below.
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