403 E. Main Street,
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Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Midway Theatre
Opened on November 23, 1929 with Tom Moore & Owen Moore in “Side Street”. Operated by the Bloomer Amusement Corporation (B-A-C Theatres), the Midway Theatre originally could seat 400 in its auditorium and balcony, and presented first-run sound movies.
When it first opened, the Midway Theatre featured ‘bargain’ ticket prices, at 20 cents, to compete with the nearby Lincoln Theatre’s higher admission prices. On December 19, 1930 it was renamed Ritz Theatre.
The Ritz Theatre was completely remodeled and enlarged to 1,000 seats in January 1946. It was remodeled in the Art Moderne style, reopening with the film, “Christimas In Connecticut” starring Barabara Stanwyck.
The balcony was sealed off in 1971 and became a second auditorium which opened on April 21, 1972. This in turn was halved a decade later. Seating was also reduced in the main auditorium to around 400.
In 1990, BAC sold the Ritz Theatre to the Kerasotes chain, which screened second-run double features in the main auditorium and art films in the set of balcony screens, calling them ‘The Ritz Upstairs’.
This arrangement proved unsuccessful, and only lasted a short time.
The owner of the neighboring Lincoln Theatre purchased the Ritz Theatre from Kerasotes in 1997, but it would only remain open under this management briefly.
In 2000, the Ritz Theatre was converted into a church.
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