Ritz Theatre

70 N. Howard Street,
Akron, OH 44308

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Bijou Amusement Company

Architects: M.M. Konarski

Functions: Bar, Live Performances, Nightclub

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Ritz Theater

The building was built in 1942, and operated as the Ritz Theatre from April 16, 1949 to 1955 as an African-American theatre. Local Akron architect M.M. Konarski is credited for work on the building in 1949.

Just barely missing a major spate of urban renewal, the building still anchors what is now the beginning of N. Howard Street. Since 1988 it has functioned as the Interbelt night club, one of the most well known (and rumored to be, at least at one point, the largest) gay/lesbian clubs in northeast Ohio. Interestingly enough, it appears to still sport the marquee. The Interbelt Niteclub had closed by 2019 but was back up and running by 2022.

Contributed by Rolling Acres

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

richhd5 on December 5, 2006 at 12:52 pm

No one has mentioned that the Ritz was unique in that it served the African-American community in Akron.It was refered to in the 1950s derogitory term as a “colored theater”.I do not know if it specialized in the Black produced films available at the time but I would speculate that it did.Anyone with memories?

monika on July 10, 2007 at 6:18 pm

Here’s a picture of the Ritz from summer 2006: View link

dallasmovietheaters on February 2, 2023 at 12:50 pm

Launched April 16, 1949 with Louis Jordan with “Beware!“ and Rocky Lane in "Oklahoma Badlands.”

Trolleyguy on February 2, 2023 at 4:20 pm

Still open as a gay night club and drag bar.

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