Ritz Theatre

302 N. Patterson Street,
Valdosta, GA 31601

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Ritz Theatre, Valdosta, GA

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The Ritz Theatre opened in the early 1920’s. All seating was on one level in the orchestra level. It was operated by the Martin Theatres chain in the 1940’s.

The Ritz Theatre was closed in May 1973.

Any further information on this building is appreciated.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

theatreorganmana on October 19, 2005 at 2:56 am

The Ritz Theatre was built at a reported cost of $250,000 and opened around 1927. It immediately became a landmark for the art of the photoplay in South Georgia.

Among its treasures was a Robert Morton pipe organ, a 2/4 Style 16 Special, Opus 2305. The Ritz was featured in the book, “American Theatres of Today” and the photograph featuring the stage, proscenium, and organ grilles shows the extensive decoration by Benjamin. An outstanding feature was the scenic curtain which was elaborately painted.

The Ritz was demolished (sometime after 1970) for a bank addition. Its imsposing facade featured five large arched windows and an elaborate plaster frieze above them. The theatre accomodated about 1,200 patrons.

1234 on December 31, 2009 at 9:41 am

In reference to the comment by Lost Memory, The Alamo had become the Strand Theater by 1927. The Ritz theater is about two blocks to the right of the Alamo in the photograph and located on the same street. Hopeful in 2010 I will have an article on the Ritz to be published in the Atlanta Chapter ATOS newsletter.

1234 on January 31, 2010 at 12:59 pm

The photo posted on 1/13/2010 is the photo of the the theatre published in “American Theatres of Today” which also features an interior shot of the theatre shortly after it opened.
On a note about the Alamo/Strand, on a recent visit to Valdosta it was discovered that the building is still standing, although there are retail spaces in the lower section of the building, it could be posssible that some remnants of the theatre remains in the upper sections of the building. Also there was for a time The Rex Theatre next door to the Alamo.

1234 on February 1, 2010 at 10:01 am

“American Theatres of Today” is available through the Theatre Historical Society as a new reprint. Also you might find the reprint that theVestal Press did back in the 70’s thru Amazon.com. or some online book sellers,the originals are hard to find.

AlfredWillis on April 24, 2010 at 7:12 pm

The Ritz occupied a mixed-use building of the sort much favored in the 1920s. Flanking the theatre foyer on the ground floor were retail shop spaces facing Patterson Street. Also overlooking the street were office spaces above the shops. It was in many respects a typical small-town southern theatre of its time.

theatreorganmana on October 13, 2010 at 9:54 am

Indeed, the Ritz featured retail shops on its street facade, including Ritz Fashions. This shop moved to 2235 N. Ashley Street in May, 1973. The Ritz showed its final film (“Book of Numbers” at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30,1973. The day after, the Cinema I and II theatres opened at Valdosta’s five points as a replacement for the venerable Ritz.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 13, 2010 at 4:23 pm

i visted the RITZ one time got a tour and took pictures .It was a playhouse at the time.

1234 on December 18, 2010 at 8:20 am

I have just posted in the Atlanta Chapter ATOS Dec. 2010 newsletter a brief story about some of the theatre’s in Valdosta, mainly the Ritz. Including then and now photo’s. Just google up the Atlanta Chapter ATOS and go to that newsletter. Hope you enjoy.

wally437 on June 7, 2013 at 9:34 am

The Ritz was the site of the 15th American Legion Convention in 1933. Meetings were held at the theater and evening events and dinners were held at the new post home at it’s current location on Williams St.

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