Ritz Theatre

117 N. Commerce Street,
Natchez, MS 39120

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Ritz Theatre

The Ritz Theatre opened in 1935 and closed around 1986.

It has since stood empty and unused.

Contributed by Van Thournout

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

shoeshoe14 on August 7, 2006 at 8:55 am

I was rewatching “The Ladykillers” (w/Tom Hanks) and noticed this theatre all in disrepair as the leading lady walked through town twice. Saw the location at the end as being Natchez, MS and lo and behold, found it on CT.

natchezms on August 16, 2008 at 12:36 pm

In watching for blogs about Natchez I came across your bit about the Ritz Theatre. The theatre is being renovated, and the facade is looking quite a bit better now. I took some shots of it today, one of which is on our NatchezMS.com website at http://www.natchezms.com/img/ritztheatre.jpg
The damage to the roof actually started quite a while before the ‘98 tornado (sorry, the “weather service” called it a “straight-line wind.”)

waynebeau23 on May 31, 2011 at 11:34 am

I went around to the back of the Ritz building awhile back and am sad to report that there is no roof on it and nothing is left between the walls. (There is not even a floor as best I could see when looking through the cracks in the fence surrounding the building.) I understand that the location will never be a theatre again but that it’s possible that a restaurant could be build there from the ground up while keeping what’s left of the restored facade intact. Here’s hoping for at least that with help & thanks donations and the assistance of The Historic Natchez Foundation.

waynebeau23 on June 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm

To Chuck 1231. It is still there at this location you mention. Well, the front and the shell of the building
is, anyway!

FredSliman on August 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I was able to enter through the back a little way in this past April and waynebeau23 is correct: the floor had apparently fallen through to the basement area and the roof is long gone. Though some have stated that the theatre operated into the 70s or even 80s, the last trace of it in papers or phone books are 1968, closing shortly before the Baker Grand in downtown Natchez and leaving the Clarke the only downtowner til its 1980 closing.

a_hollis on August 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I agree with FredSliman on the closing date. I worked for Gulf States Theatres in the 70’s, which operated the Clarke Theatre. During the early 70’s only the Clarke and Trace Town Twin (Why is that theatre not listed) were operating in the town. The Ritz was gone by 1971.

Driveintheatre2001 on July 13, 2012 at 7:56 am

Aerial shot shows the back part of the roof gone. Sad.. ..

Randy A Carlisle Historical Photographer

Driveintheatre2001 on July 13, 2012 at 8:18 am

Here’s a photo I took back in April of 2010.. Enjoy!

RAC Photography

abandonedtheaterguy on July 29, 2014 at 9:16 am

Interior and exterior photos from 2012 here: http://opacity.us/site242_ritz_theater.htm

Plenty of RCA and Ballantyne equipment left in the projection room!

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