Ritz Theatre

1 S. Washington Street,
Farmington, MO 63640

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Showing 2 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 1, 2018 at 8:28 pm

Here is an additional item about the Ritz from a later issue of Motion Picture News:

“The Farmington Entertainment Company, headed by Dr. C. A. Tatley, is taking bids on a new house for Farmington. J. Hal Lynch & Son, 412 Dolph building, St. Louis, Mo., has prepared the plans for the new theatre. It will be one story, 65 by 111 feet, and of reinforced concrete, brick and new construction.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 1, 2018 at 8:23 pm

Though the entrance building of the Ritz Theatre had to be rebuilt following the 1964 fire, the auditorium has survived and the side of the building can be seen along South Washington Street, with the stage house extending along Harrison Street. It is occupied by a school of dance, the Ballet Arts Center, though the school uses a Jefferson Street address, with a new entrance cut into the building, facing the parking lot on that street.

The site of the theater’s former entrance and the adjacent storefront is now utilized for a music store and school called Music Makers, with multiple studios and a repair facility specializing in stringed instruments. Their web site features several photos of the theater in its heyday.

Plans for a new theater in Farmington were announced in the May 13, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News:

“The Farmington Entertainment Company of Farmington, Mo., of which Dr. C. A. Tetley is president, has had plans prepared by J. Hal Lynch & Son, 412 Dolph building, St. Louis, Mo., for a new theatre. Construction plans will be prepared at once, as preliminary sketches have been approved.”
The partnership of architects James Hallowell Lynch and his son, Hallowell H. H. Lynch, was active from 1917 until 1931. Their Farmington project must have consisted only of the theater auditorium, and alterations to accommodate the theater entrance in an existing building on Columbia Street, as historic photos show the Columbia Street buildings to have been of Victorian style.