Ritz Theatre

3422 N. Illinois Street,
Indianapolis, IN 46208

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Ritz Theatre

Opened as the Ritz Theatre on February 22, 1927 with seating listed at 1,400. The architect for the Ritz Theatre was George V. Bedell.

The theatre had a 2 Manual Geneva organ. For many years the theatre was one of the leading movie houses in Indianapolis. It became known as the Northside Theatre in August of 1958 through June of 1970.

In 1962 movies became a thing of the past when burlesque moved in. Burlesque was short-lived though when the strippers and management were hauled off to court.

In June of 1970 it was remodeled and all the seats were removed to become a rock concert venue. In January of 1972 the name was changed back to the Ritz Theatre and continued on with an attempt to keep the rock concerts going but that failed and the Ritz Theatre closed in the latter part of 1972.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kencmcintyre on August 24, 2006 at 2:20 pm

Here is a photo, circa 1920 according to the caption, but clearly later if the theater opened in 1927:

galoux on June 27, 2007 at 10:22 am

I remember the Ritz by name only as a movie theater, but I was part of the scene there in 1970 when it became a rock house. The name of the place was Middle Earth, and I worked there briefly in concessions and even more briefly as a bouncer! Some name acts as well as local bands played there, including Richie Havens and Frank Zappa.

The building is still there—long boarded up and sans marquee and generally falling apart, but it is still there. The neighborhood around 34th and Illinois remains pretty much a slum, and heaven knows if anything decent will ever become of the old Ritz.

jeffreymlake on April 5, 2010 at 8:19 am

I saw Savoy Brown in concert there in 1970

DavidAE on November 28, 2014 at 11:07 pm

According to a new article on the Historic Indianapolis site, the building still exists, sans roof per a comment.

A second article contains a link with 3 photographs.

Ritzpipe on March 19, 2017 at 6:09 am

I own the Geneva pipe organ from this theatre.

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