Ritz Theatre

Main Street,
Van Buren, MO 63965

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Uploaded on: September 3, 2015

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Ritz Theatre

Van Buren had three different indoors theatres. The first was the Harding Theatre opening in 1920 which became the Van Buren Theatre and was also known by its owner’s name, Haynes' Theatre. An ad for the Van Buren Theatre is at upper left. The theatre is destroyed by fire and Van Buren is theatre-less for a period in the 1930s. The second Van Buren Theatre begins advertising in 1934 (example at bottom) but is destroyed by fire in January of 1935.

But it would get its third structure of theaters. The Ritz Theatre is supposed to open in October of 1936 but is delayed openiing February 6, 1937 (ad at right). The theatre closes October 30, 1961 suggesting the end of a 25-year lease. The theater gets one more chance in 1964 as the short-lived home of live Ozark Mountain music (ad second from bottom). The theatre is reconverted in 1973 for other retail purposes becoming Uncle Dudley’s and then the Craft Corner.

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