Ritz Theater

345 13th Avenue NE,
Minneapolis, MN 55413

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Related Websites

Ballet of the Dolls Dance Company (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: Jack J. Liebenberg

Firms: Liebenberg and Kaplan

Functions: Dance Studio, Live Performances, Performing Arts

Styles: Art Deco

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 612.623.7660

Nearby Theaters

Ritz Theater

In 1920’s the Ritz Theater, a single-screen neighborhood movie house, was an anchor to the small 13th Avenue commercial strip in northeast Minneapolis.

Vacant for many years, the building was sold to the Ballet of the Dolls dance/theater group, which now calls the Ritz home. The interior is not significant other than an unsual ‘wave’ proscenium wall. The most notable feature is the large marquee over the sidewalk that features neon ‘curls’ and the name RITZ spelled out in large letters.

The Ballet of the Dolls was awarded a $500,000 grant by the McKight Foundation for the redevelopment of the theater. They continued to fundraise while they were housed in an industrial building nearby known as the Dance Factory. On May 12, 2006, they moved back into the re-opened and renovated Ritz Theater.

Contributed by Sean Ryan

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Sean Ryan
Sean Ryan on November 17, 2003 at 3:27 pm

Here is a picture showing the theater in 1952-

View link


View link

This picture shows the theater as it looks today. Very little has been done to alter the facade other than the infill of upperfloor corner to add office space.

View link

The address of the theater is 345 13th Avenue NE.

Sean Ryan
Sean Ryan on March 9, 2004 at 6:44 pm

The older links (like those above) were on the old MN Historical Society site which did not allow you to link to a search page. (I thought I had put up new ones since then, where did they go?)

The address listed is not the theater but warehouse space that the dance company renovating the theater occupies. The address should be 345 13th Avenue NE.

Also, the theater was designed by the firm of Liebenberg and Kaplan.

New links:
1952 cooking class
“Take the High Ground”
1981 view -this is how the theater appears now.

The current plans or the building are here.

zooklaw on May 9, 2006 at 3:36 pm

The Ballet of the Dolls will be performing at the restored Ritz Theatre, beginning May 2006.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 15, 2006 at 10:57 am

The Ritz Theatre opened in 1928 and operated into the 1980’s. A seating capacity of 742 is given in the 1952 edition of Film Daily Yearbook.

Now newly renovated as a live performance theatre, the Ritz re-opened on 12th May 2006 with a seating capacity of 245.

Sean Ryan
Sean Ryan on December 3, 2006 at 10:15 pm

It’s hard to link to the historical society. The links always end up broken about 3 months later. They must reshuffle and sort media constantly or something. Thanks Ken.

DavidZornig on September 2, 2020 at 2:30 pm

2017 Flickr photo.


DavidZornig on September 2, 2020 at 3:06 pm

2014 article.


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