Ritz Theatre Company

915 White Horse Pike,
Oaklyn, NJ 08107

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The Ritz Theatre Company

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Budco

Architects: Albert Douglas Hill, Harvey Childs Hodgens

Firms: Hodgens & Hill

Functions: Live Theater

Styles: Greek Revival

Previous Names: Ritz Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 856.858.5230

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Ritz Theatre Company

Actually located in Haddon Township, but listed as being in Oaklyn. Opened in 1927 with 600 seats, and a Gottfried 2 manual organ. The Ritz Theatre was a popular downtown cinema and in the 1950’s it became South Jersey’s premier foreign film venue before it went into a period of decline in the 1970’s when it became a venue for adult movies.

When videocassettes became more popular, it spelled the end for many adult theatres, including the Ritz Theatre, which closed in the mid-1980’s.

A local theatre company, "Puttin' on the Ritz Inc.", (now the Ritz Theatre Company) began leasing the Ritz Theatre in 1985 and has used the historic movie house as a venue for live theatre ever since.

The group purchased the 400-seat Ritz Theatre and restored and renovated the building.

Restorations included the façade of the building and the interior murals, as well as adding 334 new seats in the auditorium. The Greek Revival-style Ritz has also been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

teecee on September 1, 2005 at 9:06 am

I guess this theater is haunted:
View link

teecee on September 1, 2005 at 9:25 am

Just noticed, the homepage isn’t posted here:

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 12:29 am

Listed as a Budco Theatre in the 1985 International Motion Picture Almanac.

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 2:31 am

Listed in the 1970 FDY as part of William Goldman Theatres, Inc.

teecee on May 13, 2006 at 3:44 am

Additional information and photo:
View link

ERD on May 13, 2006 at 5:39 am

Looks like a nice cozy little theatre. I wish the owners success.

HistoryGuy on February 11, 2007 at 6:02 pm

The Haddon Township Historical Society has a page of pictures and history about the Ritz Thetare. The link is: View link The historical society web site also mentions that the Ritz will be the location for a film about a closed cross-town theatre — The historic Westmont Theatre. Brent J. Donaway’s documentary film The Grand Old Lady (Footprint Films)is going to premiere at the Ritz Thetare on May 6, 2007. Info is from a flyer located at www.myspace.com/TheWestmontTheatre I think it is really cool that one local historic theatre, the Ritz, will be the premiere location for a film about another local theatre.

RickB on March 7, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Revenues have dropped, so the Ritz will present a fund-raising show on April 5. Philly.com story here.

HowardBHaas on February 4, 2022 at 9:56 am

Last week, I had a wonderful visit to the Ritz with Bruce Curless, the founder and director of the theater company that operates it. I added 26 photos. Some interesting tidbits of history:

The ticket booth’s lower panel was covered with aluminum before they tookover but inside the theater is seen in the original marble or stone.

The main, concession lobby, now has to its far left an entry to another room but originally ended with decoration like on the right side. The room that is now entered has a framed carpet that was the original carpet, and was found in a closet at the auditorium’s rear that was turned into a handicapped accessible bathroom.

Most of the light fixtures are not original to the theater except the ticket lobby’s ceiling’s fixtures.(the ticket lobby being where the ticket booth backs up into) In the auditorium, there are 4 chandeliers previously at a church and the central chandelier is from a lighting company.

When they tookover, the movie screen & carbon arc projectors were still there. They tried films with vaudeville but too few attended. The screen is gone. Someone was allowed to take the projectors.

There was a balcony to the left and right of the projection booth. To the left is now the Green Room. The right is also no longer used as a balcony.

The auditorium’s original proscenium arch is present, but often hidden by drapery for shows.

Outside, at the auditorium’s rear is a walled up section that Bruce says was for sound speakers when talkies arrived, but later walled up as speakers became smaller.

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