Ritz Theatre

Main Street,
Gorham, NH 03581

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The New Ritz Theatre was a movie theatre in a small town in northern New Hampshire. It was opened prior to 1941. By 1950 it had been renamed Ritz Theatre. It lasted until about 1960.

Contributed by Ron Salters

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 11, 2015 at 12:18 pm

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for the Ritz; it’s Card # 486. Address is Main St. There is an exterior photo dated May 1941. Condition is Good. The report says that the Ritz opened about 1938, shows MGM movies, and had 344 seats. The 1940 population was 2,800.

Chris1982 on July 11, 2015 at 9:05 pm

Ron, was the Town Hall which was showing movies until the New Ritz opened in the same building?

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 12, 2015 at 10:34 am

Chris1982- I found nothing stating that the Ritz was in a town hall, although many rural movie theaters were. CinemaData has a list of New Hampshire movie theaters named Town Hall, but Gorham is not on the list. CinemaTour has an a.k.a. name of Gorham Theatre for the Ritz. But no Town Hall info. When I googled the Ritz in Gorham, I got almost nothing!

Chris1982 on July 12, 2015 at 10:25 pm

I think the Gorham Theatre was in the same building as the Town Hall. When they stopped listed the Gorham Theatre they listed the town Hall. Same number of seats.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 13, 2015 at 10:35 am

Chris- When you say “they” do you mean the Film Daily Yearbooks? (I don’t have any, except for a small section of the 1927 edition). I went back and looked at the 1941 Ritz photo again- it looks like a purpose-built structure, and not a town hall. But there were many small-town cinema operations located in Town Hall auditoriums, that’s for sure!

robboehm on July 14, 2015 at 7:16 am

Ritz Theatre Inc. was formed January 1, 1941. Was the corporation formed subsequent to the opening as the Theatrical Historical Society would imply?

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 14, 2015 at 11:06 am

Rob- looks that way. The MGM agent went to Gorham in May 1941. He noted that the Ritz had been a MGM customer for 2 years; and that it had opened in 1938 – probably got that info from the Mgr. There was another movie venue in Gorham which was gone by 1938/ 1941: the Opera House. It was located at “Park St. & Railroad” which I take to mean either Park St. & Railroad St., or Park St. & the railroad line. It was an “upstairs house” with 700 seats and was open from at least 1914 to about 1933. It presented both live shows and movies, the latter on Wed. and Sats. It’s listed in the CinemaData project.

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