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Ritz Theatre

1145 Military Ave, Baxter Springs, KS

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In the 1880s John M. Cooper's Dry Goods and Clothing Store opened here. The upper floors of the three story building were used by various social organizations including the Masons.

In 1926 the building was converted into the Ritz Theatre and served that purpose until the mid-1950s. The theater opened to a full house on April 30,
1926 showing the 1925 silent movie “The Ancient Highway".

After extensive interior remodeling the Blue Castle Restaurant was located here from 1957 to 1980. I'm not sure what the building was used for between then and 2007.

In 2007 Ron & Judy Puckett purchased the building and restored it back its theater days. When it first became a theater in 1926 it could seat over 400 moviegoers which is now more like 300.

The very cool sign not only spells the theater name out in neon, but also features something over 200 incandescent light bulbs.

The ticket booth features glass block upper walls and stuccoed lower walls. The name Ritz can be seen in front of the booth.

The Theater name is embedded in the ceramic tiles that cover the entire width of the covered entrance.

Photo(s): 2016



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