Ritz Theater

1490 Mississippi Boulevard,
Memphis, TN 38109

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Showing 12 comments

vastor on December 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

I am perplexed about this theatre. No trace of an older building remains at the site which matches the address. It is in the neighborhood where Mississippi dog-legs around Havana St. This is NOT the Ace/Ritz address it has a page of its own and a photo at American Classic Images. This area may have had a theatre but I haven’t seen it in any other place at this address. Did the info come from City Directory listings? It is not listed elsewhere at this address that I can find. Only the Ace/Ritz at 997 Mississippi and the Ritz (now the Evergreen)at 1705 Poplar which has been mistakenly listed as “negro” which it never exclusively was. The Ace/Ritz was “negro” as it was in a predominantly “colored” neighborhood.

RA35 on July 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Berore it reopened as the “Ritz” it was named “Ace”. After it reopened I was the projectionist there until I went into service. I live in Memphis,Tn and I would like to talk with Helen and biggie4852. my email is will you pass it on.


TLSLOEWS on July 15, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Thanks Chuck but the other photo did look better.

TLSLOEWS on July 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I do not believe thats a photo of the Ritz Chuck posted Apr 15,2009.

RA35 on December 22, 2009 at 8:18 pm

In 1960 I was introduced to a Mr.Zarro, I called him ‘Mr.Z’ by my father. He wanted to know if I wanted the job of running pictures at the theatre he was opening(remodeling). I had just gotten my license a year earlier. You know the answer to this? I went to work right away. first installing new seats, building sound proofing racks for the walls. when the century projectors came I installed them and the 2 peerless lamps driven by 6 selium rectifier each. With the help of Butch I hung the 30' screen. A big Indian named Casey did the electrical, he was familar with RCA sound system. In the earlier days of the theatre it had the smaller version of lamps with simplex projectors and the projection room was not very large

Mark Edwards
Mark Edwards on April 15, 2009 at 7:52 am

This theatre is not affiliated with Coming Attractions Theatres.

BIGGIE4852 on March 24, 2006 at 3:31 pm

Yes there where two Ritz. The Pet milk can story was true, actually we just cut them of the can in the super market and get one free ticket. I think it was the only air condition building where we could go to in the summer. I did not no there was two Ritz in Memphis. This one was on the black side of town near BTW High School.

Backseater on October 2, 2005 at 12:54 pm

The Memphian was the Memphian as far back as 1963 and until it was taken over by Playhouse on the Square. I first went there in late 1963 or early 64. Before that I can’t say—but the Guild on Poplar was the only one I ever heard of as having once been named the Ritz, as described above. The Memphian was just across Overton Park from the Southwestern Campus and I used to walk over there to the show and then walk back across the park to SW at Midnight or later. Probably just as well not to get stopped by the Cops doing that, even in the early 1960s—and don’t even think about it nowadays! Best wishes.

JackCoursey on October 2, 2005 at 5:14 am

The Memphian/Playhouse on the Square is listed at 51 South Cooper. Was the Memphian also once know as the Ritz?

Backseater on October 1, 2005 at 4:20 pm

Correction: that’s Playhouse on the Square, not Theater Memphis—sorry.

Backseater on October 1, 2005 at 4:16 pm

I got my start in show show business in 1965 tearing tickets at the Guild Art Theater at 1705 Poplar Avenue (at the intersection of Poplar and Evergreen). Generations of Southwestern students had worked there and the tradition was that when you graduated you would take your replacement over and introduce him to the manager (Bill Kendall, a real nice guy and a SW grad himself). Everybody said that the Guild had once been called the Ritz, and was renamed when the Art Theater Guild took it over in the 1950s. I can’t vouch for this myself since it was before my time, but that’s what knowledgable people said. I believe the Guild/Ritz and also the former Memphian theater (on South Cooper near Overton Square, sometimes rented by Elvis after hours) are now part of the Theater Memphis organization, and occasionally used for live performances.

JackCoursey on May 22, 2005 at 8:44 pm

Were there 2 Ritz theatres in Memphis? I have one on file with an address of 1705 Poplar Ave. Are these both the same?