Fundraiser: Celebrating 100 Years of Live Theater at the Ritz Theater

Ritz Theater

You are invited to celebrate 100 years of live theater at 107 Broadway and help kick off an exciting year of performing arts in the Ritz Theater Lobby, Monday, February 4, 5:30-7:30 PM. They are working towards a goal of raising $100,000 in the 100th anniversary year. Take part in the resurgence of the Ritz Theater and the continuation of the legacy for another 100 years!

Enjoy cake, champagne and a trip down memory lane as you browse their collection of historical photos of the theater through its many incarnations…beginning with its first season as Cohen’s Opera House. Cohen’s opened its curtains on February 4, 1913 and played host to many legends of the Vaudeville era. In 1933, Eugene Levy purchased and renovated the theater, renamed it the Ritz and linked it to New York City’s famed Paramount. The theater began its most illustrious chapter with such performance greats as Ella Fitzgerald, the young Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, Bojangles Robinson, Red Skelton and Lucille Ball gracing its stage before heading to the big city. A sign rumored to be posted backstage at the Paramount warned “If you think this audience is tough, try Newburgh.”

In 2002, the Ritz Theater was purchased by Safe Harbors of the Hudson and in 2008 the non-profit Ritz Theater Newburgh, Inc. was created to focus solely on the restoration of the theater. In that year, a new era of Ritz Theater programming began in the restored theater lobby. Partnering with the Bardavon and a member of the NYSCA Presenting series, the Lobby is in its 5th season of the critically acclaimed Tom Humphrey Guitar Series and has featured performances by Tony, Grammy and Oscar winning artists. $1.7 million has been raised, award winning theater architects have been engaged, schematic plans are complete and a beautiful new box office is open…join in as we celebrate the arts in Newburgh and help raise the curtain on the Ritz Theater stage once again.

For more information about the series and the historic Ritz Theater, visit or call (845) 784-1199.