Ritz Theatre

960 5th Avenue,
New Kensington, PA 15068

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 22, 2024 at 7:05 pm

This item from Moving Picture World of October 1, 1927, appears to contradict the information in the NRHP form I cited in my previous comment:

“One of the most important theatre projects in the local territory, has recently been undertaken by the Columbus Amusement Company, who also operate the Liberty, Strand and State theatres in New Kensington. The new theatre, which will be known as the Ritz, will occupy the site formerly occupied by the old Imperial theatre on Fifth avenue, New Kensington. The new house will seat 1100 persons, and opening is expected by October 17th. Vaudeville and first run pictures will be the attractions. Samuel Haimovitz is president and general manager of the company; William Leibovitz is vice president and treasurer and Russell C. Roshon is publicity director.”
Some light is shed on this puzzle by an item in the July 23, 1927 issue of The Billboard, which notes that the Columbus Amusement Company had taken a long term lease on the Imperial Theatre at New Kensington and would expand the house to 1,100 seats. Indeed, the FDY lists the Imperial from 1926 through 1928, and the Ritz only makes its first appearance in the 1929 edition. I don’t know if the company made their goal of an October 17, 1927 opening or not, but the Ritz surely must have been opened by 1928. In any case, this house needs its opening name of Imperial Theatre added as an aka.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 1, 2014 at 11:56 pm

A document prepared for the nomination of the New Kensington Downtown Historic District to the NRHP says that the Ritz Theatre opened in 1922.