313 Pendleton Street,
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Architects: Roy A. Benjamin
Functions: Community Arts Center
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Grand Theatre, Orpheum Theatre
Opened in June 1913, as the Grand Theatre, a vaudeville, opera and live performance theatre under the management of Fred Brewer. By 1914-1915 it was also screening movies.
In 1917, its name was changed to the Orpheum Theatre, and continued to be used for vaudeville and live performance and by 1934 was operated as a movie theatre by United Theater Enterprises Inc.
Taken over in 1935 by Lucas and Jenkins, a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures Inc., extensive interior and exterior renovations were made by noted Jacksonville, Florida Art Deco architect Roy A. Benjamin. The theatre was renamed the Ritz Theatre and and is noted as “South Georgia’s finest theatre” and pledges to run first run films only. It continued as a movie theatre until 1977.
In 1986, the Ritz Theatre again returned to the performance arts when Waycross Area Community Theatre purchased the building for live community theater productions.
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