Ritz Theatre

36911 Lassen Avenue,
Huron, CA 93234

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Located across Interstate 5 and northeast of the town of Avenal, the tiny agricultural town of Huron sits astride one of the many two-lane highways that cris-cross California’s Central Valley like a grid. One of the first buildings one encounters when approaching Huron from the south is the little Ritz Theatre. It has been closed and boarded up since at least the early-1990’s.

The upper half of the facade remains as originally built, with a plain stucco front. There is a wedge-shaped marquee with a vertical streamlined sign. Pieces of broken neon tubing cling to rusty and weathered surfaces. The lower portion of the facade is covered with a veneer of concrete faux adobe bricks of the type very popular in the 1970’s. It appears that the facade’s mustard color and the brown color of the sign and marquee would date from the same remodeling.

The Ritz Theatre was opened around September 1949. It is listed in the 1951 Film Daily Yearbook guide, but no address or seating capacity is given.

Contributed by Gary Parks

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

scottfavareille on May 7, 2008 at 2:17 pm

I recall driving through Huron & seeing this theater in the 1980s when it was still open. It was showing Spanish language films then.

GaryParks on May 7, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Thanks, Scott, for helping establish an approximate time of last operation.

kencmcintyre on January 29, 2009 at 7:31 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine in October 1961:

HURON, CALIF.-A.D. Ruff, owner and operator of the Ritz Theater here, has sold the house to Ray Martinez of Soledad, Calif., who plans to feature Mexican pictures on Tuesday and Thursdays each week. A Mexican stage show was planned for the grand opening.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 25, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Boxoffice, September 17, 1949: “The Ritz, Huron, Calif., has been opened by R.D. Ruff.” (They got his first initial wrong in this one.)

Then, in the December 3, 1949 issue: “A.D. Ruff opened his new Ritz Theatre in Huron, California, a 700-seat house.”

There are several items mentioning the Ritz being operated by Roy Martinez in various issues of Boxoffice into the 1970s, and then it drops from sight.

Food blogger Chowhound says that La Esquinita Mi Pueblo Taqueria is right next door to the Ritz. The taqueria’s address is 36905 S. Lassen Ave., so the Ritz, being next door to the south, must be at or about 36907 S. Lassen Ave.. Google Maps finds it there, at least.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 3, 2018 at 5:28 am

36911 S Lassen Ave. is the address.

The theatre is for sale at http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/36911-S-Lassen-Ave-Huron-CA/9954800/

Trolleyguy on January 3, 2018 at 7:02 am

From the photos on the real estate site, it appears that someone started to do a gut rehab of this theatre then gave up.

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