Ritz Theater

60-15 Myrtle Avenue,
Ridgewood, NY 11385

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The Ritz Theater was a short-lived theater on Myrtle Avenue near Norman Street in the Ridgewood section of Queens. In the old Queens numbering system, the building was known as 2085 Myrtle Avenue.

The theater opened in the early-1920’s, and closed in the 1930’s, probably because of the competition of the newly opened Glenwood Theater nearby, and other theaters in the area.

The theater was then converted into a furniture store. In the late-1970’s or early-1980’s, Roman Furniture renovated the building, and completely resurfaced the outside facade of the building, and removed the marquee.

Today, there is no trace that the building was a theater at one time, aside from the fact that the stucco and windowless exterior slightly rises above the adjoining three story buildings a bit. A Blockbuster Video store now occupies the first floor of the building.

Contributed by Bway and Lostmemory

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

deleted user
[Deleted] on December 31, 2004 at 5:48 pm

Very good lastmemory. Both Evergreen Theatres were sold in 1921 to raise capitol for the building purposes further up Myrtle Avenue. The link between the Airdrome and Ritz Theatre is obvious to me. I would also like to speculate on the fate of the Evergreen Theatre. It could have been a hastily built theatre that could not meet more stringent building codes in the late 1920’s and therefore had to be razed. Hartmann must have seen the writing on the wall. Why else would you sell a 1200+ seat theatre like the Evergreen to build a theatre like the Ritz which had half the seating? Do we even know if the Evergreen Theatre was brick or perhaps a wooden structure which would make it unacceptable in the late 1920’s due to strict fire codes implemented in NYC.

deleted user
[Deleted] on January 5, 2005 at 5:47 pm

The Van Cortlandt Airdrome is shown as closed in 1920 but was not sold until 1921 along with the two Evergreen Theatres. It is therefore unlikely that the Ritz Theatre operated at the same time as the Van Cortlandt Airdrome.

Bway
Bway on January 6, 2005 at 12:41 pm

Lost, thanks for the great information on this theater.

deleted user
[Deleted] on January 12, 2005 at 8:24 am

I would believe that at the very least the Airdromes were constructed of wood. You raise an interesting point about the Van Cortlandt Airdrome being closed and not sold. Perhaps it was retained for its land. I will continue to investigate this matter.

Bway
Bway on May 11, 2005 at 5:07 am

Here is a photo of the old Ritz Theater building taken yesterday, now housing the Blockbuster Video. The facade of the building was resurfaced in the early 80’s when it was still “Roman Furniture”. The marquee was also removed at that point.

Click Here for Link to photo

Bway
Bway on April 4, 2006 at 4:58 pm

Here’s a link to a view of the former Ritz Theater on Myrtle Ave at 71st Ave. It is currently a Blockbuster Video Store (Isn’t that Ironic).
Before Blockbuster, it was “Roman Furniture”. The building was completely redone and resufaced in the late 70’s or early 80’s when Roman Furniture moved in. Before Roman Furniture, it was a different furniture store, and it still had the marquee out front. The marquee lasted until at least the mid 70’s, I remember it well, and remember watching them remove it when I was at the A&P store across the street with my mother.
Notice how it is a much smaller building than the Ridgewood or Madison Theater buildings of course, but it is still quite a bit bigger than the neighboring stores (at least one floor higher too). The former theater building towers over the adjoining buildings, and also runs street-to-street.
Here’s the link to the aerial view of the former Ritz Theater. The Ritz is the building with the blue awning in front – Blockbuster Blue:

West on top:
View link

Another angle, with north on top:
View link

Bway
Bway on June 12, 2006 at 5:51 am

Does anyone know when the Ritz closed as a theater?

Bway
Bway on June 30, 2008 at 10:57 am

You could own the old Ritz Theater building if you have about $3.8 million handy. Click link below for a photo of the Ritz as it is today:

View link

Bway
Bway on April 27, 2009 at 8:15 am

This building is currently for sale.

Bway
Bway on August 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm

The Ritz Theater has finally lost it’s early 80’s facade renovation, and been heavily altered on the front, and now has windows on the upper floors which makes it much more attractive. It’s currently for sale for over 3 Million. http://www.masseyknakal.com/listings/detail.aspx?lst=16760

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