History

Our History

The Ritz has experienced many purposes and uses since 1925. Lt’s most recent renovation was completed in 2012. This included both structural and decorative elements which are now reminiscent of a stunning art deco appearance in the lobby and theater area.

The Ritz has experienced many purposes and uses since 1925. Lt’s most recent renovation was completed in 2012. This included both structural and decorative elements which are now reminiscent of a stunning art deco appearance in the lobby and theater area. The main reception area welcomes visitors into the foyer with a historic piece of the original ramp featured in the wall.

ln 1996 it rose again when purchased for preservation by the Ritz Theater 1OO, a group of local citizens whose passion for the Ritz hoped to insure its future From 1996 to 2018 the future looked bright until it became known the Ritz had been mismanaged. Receivership was ordered by the State Attorney and it finally began a path to flourish. There were debts to be paid and safety requirements to upgrade. Twelve families agreed to guarantee a note so the Ritz would have a new life.

An agreement was made with Theatre Winter Haven to lease it for shows several times a week and it was wildly successful. Then comes COVID -19, a pandemic of which all our community has suffered severe economic and personal consequences.