803 N. Rolla Street,
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The Ritz Theatre opened on July 19, 1941. The City Attorney (Eugene Northern) presided over the Ritz’s formal opening. The opening days ads exploited the Western Electric Sound in a theater that was “air conditioned by refrigeration”. The first manager of the Ritz Theatre was Mrs. Mildred Karsch.
In the early days of the Ritz Theatre it was advertised as “the deluxe theater”. When the new Uptown Theatre opened five months later, ads for the Ritz changed to “still — the best of everything at the lowest admission”. Other Ritz ads – “Go to the Ritz, everybody’s doing it”. and “Always 70 degree cool”.
In its early days the Ritz Theatre was an independent operation that fought off the chain theaters that sprouted up all around it, but it, too eventually became part of a chain.
After closing in 1995, the Ritz Theatre sat empty for three years before being demolished.
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