Ritz Theatre, Midland, TX. Photos
by Chad Hauris, Retro Electronics and Audio Lab, 1/26/07

The Ritz Theatre is located on Main Street in Midland. While today, Big Spring St. or Wall St. are actually the main streets downtown, Main Street was the main part of town when Midland was first established.

The Ritz was built around 1927: Here is a photo of the Ritz from 1950:
Please click the photos for an enlarged view.

Ritz Theatre, Midland, TX. Photo from 1950

We were able to visit the Ritz, which is currently for sale, in January 2007. It continued as a movie theatre until the late 1980s, and then fell into disrepair. It was purchased from the City of Midland by the current owners. They made many needed repairs to the building and leased it to several nightclub operators. At one time, I think it was called the "Fantom Lounge". These businesses eventually went bust and the building was then used occasionally for family gatherings by the owner. It still retains all of the additions made by nightclub tenants.

Ritz theatre auditorium, Midland, TX.
This is a view looking back at the balcony from the stage. There were platforms for Go-Go dancers or something... New heating ducts were extended from rooftop heating/AC units and weather-damaged ceiling tiles were removed, leaving exposed rafters.

Ritz theatre auditorium, Midland, TX
Looking at the stage from midway in the auditorium, where a bar was installed.

Ritz theatre auditorium, Midland, TX
Looking up towards the balcony.

Ritz theatre auditorium, Midland, TX.
View towards the side and back.

Ritz theatre balcony, Midland, TX
Balcony, view 1. There are some theatre chairs on the rows although they are not the originals. A false wall was added, concealing the projection booth area.

Looking from the balcony out into the auditorium.

Theatre seats in Ritz Theatre balcony
Balcony seats.

Small room in Ritz Theatre balcony.
A storage room in the balcony. The bricked-up window is one of the windows which can be seen at the right side of the 1950 photo. The theatre facade has been modernized and changed from that picture.

Projection booth at Ritz
Projection booth, view 1. All of the equipment has been removed.

Ritz theatre projection booth, view 2.
Projection booth, view 2.

Ritz projection ports.
Original projection ports concealed behind a false wall.

Rear exit at Ritz theatre.
Rear exit, at the side of the stage.

Fuse panel at Ritz theatre.
Main fuse panel, behind the stage.

Fuse panel, view 2
Fuse panel, view 2.

John on the Ritz Theatre stage.
Ritz Theatre stage.

Bar in the Ritz lobby.
Bar set up in the lobby.

Pepsi machine
A Pepsi machine in a storage room located at the back of the auditorium.

Old piano in Ritz lobby.
An old piano pushed up against the entrance doors.

Ritz theatre lobby.

Bar set up in Ritz auditorium.
Bar set up in the auditorium.

Ritz theatre poster case.
Poster case.

Ticket booth at Ritz Theatre.
Ticket booth. We will have some more exterior photos soon.

Men's room toilet at Ritz theatre.
Toilet in the men's room. Although in good condition, I would prefer some more privacy if I had to sit on it!

Urinal and toilet in men's room at Ritz theatre.
Urinal and toilet.

Under-balcony area.
Under-balcony area.
More photos to come!

Under-balcony area at Ritz Theatre.
Under-balcony area, view 2.

Underneath platform.
Under one of the "go-go" platforms. They concealed some stairs from a former remodel.

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