Ritz Theatre

10 W. Main Street,
Shawnee, OK 74801

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Showing 25 comments

Gail_Whitten on November 30, 2017 at 4:09 pm

A.C. Davis was my great grandfather, and he did not move to Shawnee until 1901, so he couldn’t have been the architect of the original building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 24, 2014 at 11:04 am

The March 25, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World reported that the Cozy Theatre in Shawnee was to be remodeled and enlarged:

“The work of remodeling and enlarging the Cozy theater, Shawnee, Okla., in which $7,000 is to be expended, is to begin at once. With the contemplated enlargement of the Cozy a new firm has been organized to conduct this theater. A. J. Cammack has gone in with Jake Jones and Nicholas Albert, the proprietors heretofore, and the firm will be known as Jones, Albert & Cammack.

“Increasing business merited the enlarging of the Cozy. The new dimensions of this photoplay house are 40 by 140 feet. It will have a seating capacity of 636. The proprietors expect to have the new place completed in time for Easter. The Cozy when completed will be a worthy addition to the, handsome structures in Shawnee.”

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on July 4, 2012 at 9:43 pm

From 2010 a photo of the Ritz Theatre in Shawnee.

Toppie Lincicome
Toppie Lincicome on June 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm

We’re sprucing up this lobby with a little paint and such. Should look real nice.

TLSLOEWS on March 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

Looks like the signboards are missing from the marquee.Cosmic Ray.

raybradley on March 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

Take a look at what the Ritz Theatre neighborhood looks like today,
View link

Top on March 2, 2011 at 7:28 am


Here is a link on YouTube. This is just short video from one of our monthly shows. We try to bring one event to the Ritz each month and are looking for more things to do. We have just about got the old popcorn machine fixed and we’re pretty darn excited about that!

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on October 30, 2010 at 12:16 pm

From 2010 photo views of the Ritz Here and Here in Shawnee.

seymourcox on July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am

Roadside Oklahoma pages show off vintage and modern photos of the Ritz Theatre, Shawnee,

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 25, 2009 at 9:45 pm

An article about Johnny and Ruby Jones in the June 29, 1957, issue of Boxoffice Magazine attributes the design of the marquee of the Ritz Theatre to Jake Jones, with architect A.C. Davis working from a pasteboard model made by Jones.

The firm of Davis & Sons was based in Shawnee, and Davis is known to have designed a theater as early as 1926 (the H&S Theatre in Chandler) so it would be surprising if the Ritz had not been designed by Davis, Shawnee’s leading architect for many years. The question is whether or not he did the original 1899 building. Davis was definitely practicing architecture in Shawnee at least as early as 1908, according to a book published that year.

Also, commentors above are correct that the style of this theater is Federal Revival, not Art Deco. Unfortunately, Cinema Treasures doesn’t provide Federal Revival as an option among its choice of styles. The closest would probably be Adam, as the original Federal style in the United States was a variant of the British Adam style, and is frequently referred to by architectural historians as Adamesque-Federal.

MattyP on January 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm

My father is from Shawnee, I spent alot of time there as a kid. For many years, my grandfather, J.W. “Bill” Poole, ran the theaters in Shawnee, including the Ritz, the Hornbeck, the Bison, and back in that day there was the Starlight drive in theater. I saw many movies at these theaters as a kid, and have many fond memories of them. The employees of the theaters always treated me like a VIP when I told them I was Bill Poole’s grandson

TerryBear on November 11, 2008 at 3:13 am

I lived in Shawnee from 1981-1984 and have fond memories of going to the Ritz to see movies. It was great going to a movie theater that reminded me of going to the movies in the days when I was growing up. The Ritz had an awesome screen and sound for the relatively small size of the theater. The inside decoration was excellent also. Loved the marquee and the outside ticket booth.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on May 5, 2008 at 7:25 pm

A 1983 view of the Ritz Theater with lights and neon on in Shawnee.

raybradley on August 27, 2007 at 10:55 am

This site shows antique photos of the Ritz Theatre Federal style exterior & interior. Type in word “ritz” to see pictures -
View link

Okie on August 3, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Read a well written history of Shawnee’s little Ritz Theatre on this link,

xxx on March 25, 2005 at 6:26 pm

RITZ Theater; What is it with Oklahomans that make them want to list every theatre as Art Deco? From this photo the architectural styling is definately FEDERAL REVIVAL!

brentclarkf on December 19, 2004 at 9:37 pm

This is a little theatre, but it’s in nice shape. I didn’t realize it was connected to Jones Theaters, too. I know the Hornbeck, right around the corner, is a Jones’s discounter. How does Carmike fit into the picture? Is Johnny Jones, owner of the Rialto in Alva, related to these Jones’s? Thanks for the info.
My wife and I have been all over the state researching and sometimes performing in old theatres. We just love them.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 3, 2004 at 4:33 pm

In the Film Daily Yearbook 1941 the Ritz Theatre is listed with a seating capacity of 580.

RobertR on October 2, 2004 at 4:04 pm

The theatre looks so big is it really only 299 seats?

Nanagrandma on October 2, 2004 at 4:01 pm

I noticed your marque at the theater on Harrison that you were remodeling. I am working on a ministry for pastors and Christians in the Shawnee area and would be interested in purchasing 10 theater seats. Please advise if you have any theater seats that you no longer need.

Thanks in advance, Keith

RonnyJones on May 29, 2004 at 9:29 pm

Please update your listing. The Ritz is OPEN and is being used for concerts and meetings. Renovation continues as funds permit, but the theatre is being used as a performing arts center and anchor in Downtown Shawnee’s revitalization

RonnyJones on April 17, 2004 at 9:59 pm

Jones Theatres, Inc. operated the Ritz until 1987. For further information go to www.jonestheatres.com and read the history page.
The Downtown Shawnee website has some recent photos of the restored sign and exterior.

CharlottePatterson on February 24, 2004 at 1:17 pm

Mr. Funck,
We are in the process of updating our photos which will include historical photos. We will upload them as soon as Cinema Treasures photos are back online. The marquee is used not only to promote events at the Ritz but to also promote awareness of the redevelopment efforts in our downtown area.
Charlotte Patterson, President

VictorFunck on February 19, 2003 at 11:46 am

I would like a straight-on photo of the front of your theater to include coming attraction windows and the lighted marque showing “now playing” for a non-commercial project at work.

Thank you!
Vic Funck