Ritz Theater

201 W. Ohio Street,
Rockville, IN 47872

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Ritz in 2010

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

AnnJMSHarlan
AnnJMSHarlan on December 8, 2005 at 10:56 am

This theater also shows first run movies on Sat, Sun & Wed. I first went several years ago, and the screen & sound were poor. That is no longer true. I went late Nov 2005, and the theater is lovely, the screen & sound fine, with nice small displays of historical interest. I plan to go frequently.

raubre
raubre on May 3, 2006 at 7:40 pm

I clicked on the last link (of the recent marquee pic). The caption mentions Michael Stipe (REM). What does he have against the theater?

RobertR
RobertR on July 18, 2006 at 8:29 pm

This place looks like it’s kept perfect
View link

Bill Eichelberger
Bill Eichelberger on February 2, 2009 at 6:14 am

The Michael Stipe reference was probably something to do with the REM song “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville”. I don’t believe this was about Rockville, Indiana.

crowdeda
crowdeda on November 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm

The Ritz Theater in Rockville, IN is still in operation and has recently made the switch to HD Projection equipment from the old 35mm celluloid film. The Parke Players do an excellent job of keeping its historic value while keeping it in operational condition with the new technology updates.

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