Ritz Theatre

500 N. Washington Street,
Chillicothe, MO 64601

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Commonwealth Theaters Corp., Fox Midwest Theatres, H.J. Griffith Theaters Inc.

Architects: R. Warren Roberts

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Ritz Theatre

The Ritz Theatre opened June 3, 1931 in a conversion of a Masonic Temple. It was located at the corner of N. Washington Street & Clay Street. By the early-1940’s it was operated by the H.J. Griffith Theatres Inc. chain. The theatre was the last to be opened in the downtown area. The Ritz Theatre seated 475 and was still listed as open in 1957, but soon closed down.

It was twinned, and reopened April 12, 1985, but was a short lived venture as it closed May 24, 1985. There is a small plaza where the theatre once stood.

Contributed by Chris1982

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

dallasmovietheaters on May 25, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Architected by R. Warren Roberts who got to convert the 1895 Masonic Temple into the Ritz, the theater’s grand opening was June 3, 1931. It launched with “The Millionaire” and its first operator was billionaire Howard Hughes and his Hughes-Franklin circuit. But the Hughes-Franklin midwestern circuit would be dissolved in November of 1931 and Clarence Shultz was the new operator.

The Ritz received an air conditioning system in 1940. On May 29, 1955, the theater closed for regular business opening for Tuesday “Shopper Matinees” in the summer and closing as kids went back to school. Commonwealth Theaters of Kansas City bought the Ritz and the Ben Bolt in Chillicothe late in 1957. However, the circuit appears to decide against re-opening the Ritz. But the theater would get one more shot at cinematic glory. The Ritz re-opened April 12, 1985 with “Missing in Action 2” on screen one and “Dune” on screen two. And the Ritz closed as a twin shut down by the city on May 24, 1985 with “Gymkata” and “Just One of the Guys.”

SethG on March 6, 2019 at 11:48 am

According to the 1916 Sanborn map, there was a theater at 505. In the picture with the wrecked cars, I think that would be the far left building. If we can find a name, we sort of have a picture.

50sSNIPES on February 13, 2024 at 12:58 pm

Once operated by Fox Midwest Theatres.

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