Ritz Theatre

111 E. Market Street,
Clearfield, PA 16830

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Additional Info

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 814.765.5835

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Ritz Theatre

The building’s portion of what was to become the Ritz Theatre’s foyer was built in the 1890’s. The 1,054-seat auditorium portion was built in 1926, with all seating on a single floor. The owner of the three storefront building wanted to build a movie theatre so his goal was achieved by knocking out the back wall of the middle store and adding the auditorium. Aesthetically, both buildings blend together harmoniously. If I hadn’t been told the Ritz Theatre’s structural history by its manager, I, like most observers, would have assumed the building was built as the Ritz Theatre complex.

Today, the Ritz Theatre (twinned in the 1970’s) seats a total of approximately 640. The twinning was done lengthwise down the middle but I’d swear one auditorium is larger than the other. The “larger” side seats 340 while the other side seats 300. The original wall fixtures were removed from the exterior wall of the smaller side and placed on dividing wall inside the larger auditorium. The auditorium’s several fluted floor to ceiling half pillars appear to be decorative rather than structural. An ugly dropped tiled ceiling covers what old pictures show to be a rather plain plastered ceiling.

Unfortunately, the Ritz Theatre, today is rather tired looking. One auditorium has seats from three time periods while the other displays two. The Ritz Theatre’s marquee is quite nice and I hope to return soon to see a movie.

The Ritz Theatre operates seven days per week with each auditorium screening (depending whether it’s considered peak season or not) between 7 and 16 showings. The Ritz Theatre is a first run house and its $5.00 admission charge makes it a bargain. The Ritz Theatre is owned by the person who owns the theatre (also twinned) in St. Mary’s, PA.

Contributed by Richard Grows

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

wolfgirl500 on January 7, 2007 at 3:18 am

I was just a little girl when I lived in Clearfield … we moved when I was 10 so any teater was large to me. I do recall though that the Lyric had live stage shows as well as movies and I had the opportunity to see a couple of them as well as my Mother’s last radio broadcast which as I said was done from the stage of the Lyric.

The Lyric was set up for stage shows and had dressing rooms back stage.

I’m sorry to hear that Leitzingers closed because the station that Mother worked at did shows from their record department every Saturday morning.

We moved from Clearfield in 1950 so I’d probably not recognize the town now.

kencmcintyre on September 16, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Here is a May 1950 ad from the Progress, a local paper:

Patsy on September 17, 2007 at 7:38 am

This theatre has a great looking marquee though don’t like to read that it has been “twinned” which usually means separating/dividing off the balcony from the main auditorium.

wolfgirl500 on September 17, 2007 at 8:05 am

The Ritz didn’t have a balcony. It just had the main floor which means that a wall now goes down the center isle and most likely seats were removed.

In a town of under 9000 that wouldn’t matter much though except for purests.

For a small town though the Ritz was a really nice theater as were the others that were there when I was a child.

Every Saturday afternoon I would either go to the Lyric or Ritz, and once the Roxy which was also a nice theater in it’s day.

For a small town like Clearfield to have 3 theaters was something special.

My cousin owned the Rex Theater in Curvinsville but I never saw it so if anyone has pictures of that theater I sure would like to see them.

Jacker on October 26, 2008 at 10:10 am

Anyone know of any theatres for sale in Pa.

Jacker on October 30, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Any new pics or info on this theatre!

RSM3853 on January 15, 2013 at 11:06 am

The Ritz was twinned in 1971. It closed the week of May 19-26, 1971 for the renovations, and the two smaller theaters opened separately. The Ritz I opened on July 14, 1971 with “Love Story” and the Ritz II on August 7, 1971 with “Ryan’s Daughter.”

Although it probably was still standing and was used for special events, the Lyric Theater doesn’t show any films advertised for the rest of 1967 past “Warning Shot” the week of February 22, 1967.

Other area theaters were the Rex in Curwensville, the Sheckel in Houtzdale, the Super 322 Drive-In between Clearfield and Philipsburg, and of course, the Rowland in Philipsburg, PA.

RSM3853 on January 15, 2013 at 11:11 am

Sorry for the typo – it’s the Sherkel, not the Sheckel Theater in Houtzdale.

wolfgirl500 on June 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania economic development officials have awarded $180,000 to a pair of Clearfield County revitalization projects, according to State Sen. John Wozniak.

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will give a Keystone Communities grant of $150,000 to address flood protection in Coalport and $30,000 to help renovate the Ritz Theater in Clearfield.

“State investments in our communities are important and that’s why I am pleased that funding for key projects in Clearfield County has been aggressively pursued by local officials and groups,” said Wozniak

“Funding for the preliminary work on a flood control project in Coalport and the revitalization of the Ritz Theater in Clearfield Borough will help the communities grow and prosper.”

Clearfield Borough, on behalf of the Clearfield Revitalization Corp. (CRC), will utilize $30,000 as a grant-to-loan to fund the preservation of the historical Ritz Theater by converting to a digital projection system.

“Clearfield Borough expresses its sincere appreciation to the Office of the Governor and to the DCED for their continuing support of our community revitalization efforts,” said Leslie Stott, Clearfield Borough operations manager.

“This redevelopment grant-to-loan award has allowed the CRC to help the historic Ritz Theater survive through the film industry’s transition to digital technology and to sustain its community development efforts into the future.”

The remaining grant for $150,000 will focus on expenses associated with the preliminary work for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Flood Protection Project in the Borough of Coalport, which will address flood protection issues and construction plans.

An estimated $12 million in property would be protected as a result of this project, along with helping to stimulate new business development by addressing flood risk concerns.

“Located in southern Clearfield County, Coalport Borough has experienced flooding since 1936. In 1959 Glendale Dam was built to help control the flooding; however, major flooding still occurs along Clearfield Creek in Coalport Borough and parts of Beccaria Township,” said Lisa Kovalick, community development specialist with the Clearfield County Planning & Community Development Office.

“This $150,000 grant for development from the Keystone Communities program along with $290,000 in matching funds, will allow the Borough to prepare for the flood project, protecting, residents and their homes, businesses, infrastructure and industry in southern Clearfield County.”

The Keystone Communities program was created in 2011 to assist commonwealth communities in achieving redevelopment. The program supports physical improvements to both designated and other communities that are undertaking revitalization to restore deteriorated downtowns, residential neighborhoods and industrial/manufacturing sites.

JRHagan on June 11, 2021 at 2:05 pm

The Ritz has ( or had ) a fully functional fish tank in the back of the lobby when I was there a few years ago . Manager was very nice to speak with and the neon Marquee is beautiful at night

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