Ritz Theatre

426 East Main Street,
Stockton, CA 95202

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OCRon on September 25, 2014 at 12:15 pm

The Colonial Theatre was open at this location from 1913-1922 and then, according to Wright Realtors, was dark for 15 years. The Lodi Sentinel reported on August 12, 1913, “Packed houses greeted the opening of the new Colonial Theatre on Main Street between California and Sutter Street. The Playhouse is cool and spacious, there being 1,000 seats on the ground floor, with no balcony.”

The Placerville Mountain Democrat reported in November of 1936 that a new theater would be constructed on the site of the old Colonial Theatre.

From the Sanborn Maps, it’s hard to tell how much of the Colonial remained but both buildings had 12-inch walls and the evident changes are: The Colonial auditorium had covered skylights of which some remain over the lobby area on the Ritz. The roof over the Ritz auditorium was steel truss on steel posts against the wall. The entrance was moved to one side. The stage was removed and a fan room added. (See photo section for before and after footprints.

GaryParks on August 26, 2009 at 8:56 pm

The first time I was ever in downtown Stockton I drove by the Ritz. This was in late 1986. It looked the same as in the 1982 and ‘86 photos linked above, and was still showing gran estrenos de peliculas Mexicanas. Minutes later I stopped by the Fox California, just down the street, which was getting ready for a concert by '80s teen pop group The Jets. A man who seemed to be a caretaker of the place let me into the Fox for a brief look, and I have yet to go inside since the restoration. By the time I left Stockton, it was getting dark, and the Ritz was lit up. I seem to remember the dominant color of the neon being pink. In the late 1990s I was back in Stockton, and the marquee was off the Ritz building, but I recognized the facade. The building had been converted to some kind of retail use.