Ritz Theatre

1921 Hollywood Boulevard,
Hollywood, FL 33020

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The Hollywood Theatre was situated in a two story stand alone building in downtown Hollywood, FL on Hollywood Boulevard near N. 19th Street and Young Circle Park. It opened in 1926. It was renamed Ritz Theatre in 1935 and was still open in 1943 when it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary E.J. Sparks. Above a rain canopy that extended from the building front was a large vertical sign with “RITZ” spelled out in individual lettering. It was closed in the 1940’s and was demolished.

Contributed by Billy Holcomb / Don Lewis / Billy Smith

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 26, 2015 at 4:51 pm

The house that later became the Ritz opened as the Hollywood Theatre in 1923 or 1924. It was located at 1921 Hollywood Boulevard. According to A Guide to Historic Hollywood: A Tour Through Place and Time, by Joan Mickelson (Google Books preview) it was renamed the Ritz in 1935. This was after a new Hollywood Theatre (later the Hollywood Cinema) was opened on Harrison Street. The Ritz operated at least into the 1940s. It has been demolished.

robboehm
robboehm on November 26, 2015 at 10:03 pm

A different Google Books author, Bonnie Wilson, sites 1926 as the year in which the theater opened. She also mentions that ushers would spray patrons with mosquito repellent as they entered the theater. Nice. The former theater became a retail store after it closed sometime in the 1940s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 26, 2015 at 10:59 pm

Mickelson’s book appears to be well researched (she even gives the name of the contractor who built the theater, which suggests she had some sort of documentation.) She also has a weblog, where this page has a bit more information about the first Hollywood Theatre as well as an early photo of it.

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