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Opened on February 4, 1914 as Cohen’s Opera House. In 1926 it became the State Theatre and showed vaudeville and movies. Renovated and renamed the Ritz Theatre in 1933, it became exclusively a movie venue. By 1957 it was operated by Liggett-Florin Booking Service who had taking it over when their Academy Theatre was destroyed by fire in 1956. In 1969 it was twinned and given the name Cinemas I & II. As downtown Newburgh deteriorated so did the cinema becoming home to B-movies and porn until it eventually closed in November of 1981.
In February 1999 James Deyo who owned the Hotel Newburgh next door reopened the Ritz Theatre, which by this time had been carved up into four screens discount venue. Attempts to play second-run and Spanish language movies flopped. The theatre closed again in June 1999 after selling only 700 tickets in its 17 weeks in business.
The Hotel Newburgh next door is now supportive housing run by Safe Harbors of the Hudson. They began to restore the Ritz Theatre back into a live performing arts space in 2009.
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