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Wearing my “Save the Lakewood” shirt, I have gotten all kinds of stories from people who love this theater and are either in anger or disbelief that it could get demolished. I have heard from old-timers that they would get to see film footage of news (like our efforts in WW2)during an age when they only had newspapers and radio. That the theater even helped to sell bonds to help our nation/troops in the WW2 effort. This theater has a very rich history and should be preserved. Please enjoy the photo I am posting from 2002.
I am SO glad that we have GOOD news on this wonderful theatre! Kudos to every soul that has made this miracle possible!!
When I was about 8 or 9 years old (back in the early 1960’s), I would visit my grandparents in Bradenton. My grandmother would drop us off at this theater on Saturday mornings. We would have a BALL!! They really entertained us. We were issued numbered ticket stubs. A man would get up on a platform (in front of the screen) and would have a drawing for prizes. If your ticket number matched, you would win something really cool. Then they would show cartoons and the feature. We really looked forward to Saturday mornings there! And the moms probably looked forward to a little break from us kids (lol). I sure have fond memories of this theatre.
The days of the beautiful Ridglea Theater may be “numbered”. Please see this link:
Local residents and the “Historic Ft Worth” organization are sounding the alarm for the possible demise of this treasure! Having been a concert venue for several years, the concert company apparently declared bankruptcy and now someone else holds the paper. There is talk about demolishing it for a Bank of America!!!
PLEASE —– PLEASE help these folks save this theater. So far, they have organized a tour of the theater to help save it. Although this is very heartfelt and noble effort, I fear they will need far more to pull this off. Here is the news link regarding the tour:
In 1972 (while attending college in DeLand), I stumbled upon this theater. It was wide open and I just walked right in. It was closed but in good condition. The booth was fully 35mm equipped with Brenkert projection heads and Strong Electric carbon-arc lamphouses. This was not a “brick and mortar” building. It had concrete slab flooring and corrugated sheet metal walls. This sheet metal was painted with dark blue and burgundy stripes. It had a small balcony with about 2 or 3 rows of seats. It had a marquis and full signage. I do not really recall what that looked like. There were huge fans that were beneath the screen. I guess this was the cooling system. I spent a couple of afternoons “exploring” this theater. It looked in generally good condition to me. About 3 months ago, I visited DeLand for the first time since 1972. “254 Voorhees” is a small business (as mentioned by other members). There is a huge vacant lot to the left of this business. This lot is where the Washington Theater once stood.