HISTORY OF THE THEATRE
The Ritz Theatre is the only former silent movie house left standing in the Shoals. The theatre was constructed in 1927 and opened July 8, 1928. The Tennessee Valley Art Association purchased the Ritz in 1983 and restored it as a performing arts venue. The historic theatre re-opened in 1985 with the musical Anything Goes, performed by TVAA’s Center Stage Community Theatre players. In 1992 an extended lobby, kitchen, and set shop were added. Two buildings adjacent to the Ritz provide space for future expansion. The final construction phase to restore the Ritz was completed in 2009 with the renovation of the Art Deco exterior façade replicating the 1930s period marquee. The Association conducts four theatre arts programs at the Ritz: Center Stage community theatre, New Stage professional series, Time Out for Theatre for the child audience and SummerStock, an educational theatre program for ages 16 - 29. Other educational programs include theatre workshops, pre-performance lectures and curtain talks. In 2012, the Ritz School for the Performing Arts was organized. The school works with five regional school districts to provide theatre arts classes for schools that do not have full time theatre art programs.