Ritz Theater

226 S. Market Street,
Inglewood, CA 90301

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Ritz Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Ritz Theater was located in downtown Inglewood on Market Street, just South of the Fox Theater, U.A. Theater, and Inglewood Theater. The Ritz Theater was built in 1937, and was listed in the independent theater section of the L.A. Times.

During the 1960’s, the Ritz Theater presented first and second-run features. In addition, non-mainstream films like "Mondo Cane," "Lolita," and "Dr. Strangelove" played the Ritz Theater. Here’s something really interesting: Over the period of about a year, the screen was moved forward into the auditorium, then back, then forward again. (I swear, I wasn’t on drugs! This really happened!)

In the late-1960’s, the theater was remodeled and the name was changed to the Cine. At that time, it was operated by Loews. A new marquee was put in place, the lobby was remodeled, and the auditorium was decorated with blue curtains, including riser curtains for the screen. The opening feature after the remodeling was "The Bible."

When "I Am Curious (Yellow)" played the Cine, the program was shut down. I remember walking by and seeing no letters on the marquee. A few years later, Russ Meyer’s "Vixen" played the theater without incident. In the early-1970’s, the Cine continued to present mainstream films, but the neighborhood changed and so did the audience. People would attend the theater and, when the program started, they would jump onto the riser curtains and be pulled up to the top of the screen. This led to the machinery breaking down.

The theater became a Pussycat house in the mid-1970’s. When Pussycat left, the theater became an independent, second-run house for a brief period. Then, it became a community center, then a church, which has since move out.

Contributed by George Haider

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 16, 2009 at 9:30 pm

No, I think it’s more interesting that they slashed the price so soon. If you listen to the Inglewood city government, Market Street is perpetually a month away from turning the corner, gentrification-wise. This has been going on since I moved to LA in 1984. I’d like to see how much they are asking in a month.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 16, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Let me know when they get down to about 100K. I think I can get that together.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm

The asking price has dropped to 599K. Here are some June 2009 photos:
http://tinyurl.com/lto72n
http://tinyurl.com/lcedom
http://tinyurl.com/nenh3q

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 21, 2009 at 9:39 pm

This is from Boxoffice in June 1958:

LOS ANGELES-Helm-Hoffman Enterprises, in which Phillip Hoffman and Bob Hellman are partners, has purchased Wendell Smith’s Ritz Inglewood Theatre Corp. and will operate the 700-seat theatre on an alternate first-run and seven-day availability schedule.

Mike Tiano
Mike Tiano on September 27, 2009 at 3:20 am

I grew up in Inglewood in the 1960s, and remember the Ritz well. They were a bit clueless about pairing films for their double features—I’ll never forget the double feature of “McHale’s Navy” (the big screen version of the inane TV series) with “Lady in a Cage” (an intense, largely mature-themed thriller).

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on April 21, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Interesting photo of when it was a LOEWS.

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on July 15, 2010 at 3:14 am

Built in 1937, according to that defunct Loopnet listing.

CStefanic
CStefanic on June 10, 2013 at 10:26 am

Is the projection equipment still available?

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