08/05/14 2:14pm

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The Ritz Theater on Broadway just had their new marquee installed today “which will illuminate lower Broadway and serve as a beacon for Newburgh’s bourgeoning arts and cultural district.” According to Safe Harbors of the Hudson (the umbrella organization of the Ritz Theater):

The new marquee reinterprets the marquee design from the theater’s heyday, the 1940’s and ’50’s, while presenting an exciting new form that speaks to the contemporary design and state-of-the-art technology embraced by Safe Harbors in all phases of its redevelopment.

Under the direction of general contractor, Carey Construction, Inc. the 1980’s era marquee was removed from the building’s façade and the remaining steel structure was repaired and reinforced for the installation of the new marquee, which was fabricated by Wagner Electric Sign Company of Elyria, Ohio.

Funding and oversight for $260,000 marquee project was provided through grants from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Housing and Urban Development.

The future looks bright for Broadway!

Ritz Theater Newburgh

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All photos © Ritz Theater Newburgh

02/06/13 10:01am

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It was a celebration 100 years in the making and a toast to 100 more at the Ritz Theater on Broadway’s east end Monday night. The lobby walls of the historic structure echoed with the sound of champagne glasses clinking and Mike Pacer’s orchestra of one  set the mood with some classic Americana arrangements reminiscent of Sinatra. A string of photos across the wall told the story of a lost era while airing on the subject of history in the making. The Ritz aims to become a state-of-the-art 825 seat theater in 2016.

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In the long term the revival project aims to create administrative and operational positions on-site and strengthen community partnerships like the one they are currently enjoying with Newburgh’s mainstay college campus – SUNY Orange. In the short term it hopes to become a safe-haven for Newburgh’s aspirational theater arts and performance groups.

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Edward Gibbons-Brown the creative director and founding partner of a new local nonprofit theater company called Hatmaker’s Attic Productions was hob-nobbing with his spatial partners at the Ritz and Safe Harbors of the Hudson. Hatmaker’s Attic theatrical programming has been integrated into Safe Harbor’s 2013 calendar year beginning with a May production of the beloved contemporary musical THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE*,  peaking with a summer camp theater program.

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The celebration doubled as the kick-off for the capital campaign which aspires to raise 100k in this the Ritz’s 100th year.

*Auditions for the 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will be held in The Ritz on February 9th, from 12:00PM to 4:00PM.

Article and photos by Stefanie Pearl – Publisher at HappyHudsonValley.com

01/29/13 10:30am

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 www.ritztheaternewburgh.org or call (845) 784-1199.

07/12/12 11:30am
Ritz Theater Newburgh

Ritz Theater 1950’s

Be on the lookout this Fall 2012. The Ritz Theater Marquee will be undergoing renovation. There is no definite word on what it will look like once the renovations are completed, but things will probably start to move along quickly once it is evaluated by an architect. It is just one more step in the right direction to restore The Ritz Theater.

The Ritz Theater recently just held a breakfast on the economic impact the theater will have on the surrounding area. See the report for yourself.

10/28/11 12:00pm

If you remember the Ritz Theater in it’s hey day then there is a chance for you to be on the big screen. There is a documentary being conducted on the restoration of the Ritz Theater, and they are in need of people who remember being present when it used to be a beautiful theater.

If you would like to share your story, please call to set up an interview 845-784-1199 or email elmparisi@aol.com or info@ritztheaternewburgh.org. Walk ins are also welcome. Interviews will be recorded between 11am and 4 pm on Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6. Please bring any old photos, or newspaper articles or materials of any kind relating to the Ritz Theater that you may have, they would love to include it, with a thank you credit to your name. You can read more about it on the Ritz Theater website.

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