New Ritz Theatre

107 East Main Avenue,
Ritzville, WA 99169

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Showing 12 comments

dart384
dart384 on October 22, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Does anyone remember a person by the name E.R Bechtel I found a watch at a auction his name engraved on the watch with bf shearer 1946 I was wondering if relatives r still around my email is

gingersnaps
gingersnaps on October 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm

“Artist’s Drawing of new $30,000 Theater at Ritzville” from April 8, 1937 of the Spokesman Review includes fun tidbit about the theater being the first in Adams County to be air-conditioned.

gingersnaps
gingersnaps on April 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm

The Kendrick Collection of photographs (search for “theater” or “main street”), available for viewing on the Washington State Digital Archives page, is an excellent source for older photos of the theater around the time it was first built.

The collection also has a few photos of the “original” Ritz theater, which looks to have been located near the train depot.

gingersnaps
gingersnaps on April 26, 2013 at 8:32 am

Another “Remembering from the Files” blurb about transfer of ownership. This must be the “other theater in town” people have asked about. A PDF is available.

gingersnaps
gingersnaps on April 26, 2013 at 8:29 am

The local weekly paper featured a snippet about the theater in its “Remembering from the Files” feature last year under the “75 years ago” section. A PDF is available.

gingersnaps
gingersnaps on April 26, 2013 at 8:26 am

Here is a link to the Boxoffice Magazine article that Mr. Vogel refers to. Also available from boxoffice.com as a PDF.

Mikeyisirish
Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 6:12 am

2011 photos can be seen here and here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 29, 2008 at 7:33 pm

From Boxoffice Magazine, September 18, 1937: “Roy Irvine has opened his new theatre in Ritzville, Wash. The house seats 450 and was designed by Bjarne Moe.”

Bjarne Moe was the architect of the Roxy Theatre, Bremerton; the Crest Theatre in Seattle; the Lake City Theatre, Seattle; the Bungalo Theatre, St. Maries, Idaho; and the Liberty Theatre, Ellensburg. There are probably quite a few others, but I haven’t unearthed them yet. In addition, he was the architect for many theatre remodeling jobs.

A 1944 issue of Boxoffice featured a photo of many employees of the Seattle office of the B.F. Shearer Co., a theater supply and design house. Bjarne Moe was among them.

PopcornNRoses
PopcornNRoses on July 31, 2008 at 3:34 am

Actually, I think I saw them at the OLD Ritz, since it’s the 70s we’re talking about here, but the idea is still the same…

PopcornNRoses
PopcornNRoses on July 31, 2008 at 3:33 am

I saw SO MANY movies here when I was a teenager! I lived in Harrington and Ritzville was much easier to get to than Spokane. Yes, you had to wait 4-6 months for the big movies to come down, but I remember it would be jammed every weekend night – it was only open on the weekends then, as I recall. IT’s nice to know it’s still in business…

owyhee
owyhee on January 3, 2008 at 7:00 pm

I worked there several years in the late 90s early 00’s as projectionist. There are 375 seats, as some rows in the front were taken out for parts for the seats. I have a photo of opening night, Sept 7, 1937. Much of the theater is original inside, even the wiring and heating system. The air washer cooling system doesn’t work, as water was left standing in it, and rusted the floor out of it, and ran down the screen. The projectors are from 1952, when the building was paid off, and the owner could purchase new machinery that came from the Old Ritz Theater that was 2 blocks away (building was torn down in late 70’s). The player piano that was used in silent days from the theater still works and was donated to the Benge Community Church when it was built in 1952 by the owner.

KenLayton
KenLayton on September 6, 2005 at 1:56 am

Boy, who picked out the color scheme? Those paint colors are an insult.