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All About the History of the Ritz Theater in Clinton TN

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the Ritz Theater in Clinton TN! This lovely theater is not only a great place to see all the latest films, but it is also rich in history and has served many purposes over time. Before you visit this amazing attraction, here are some of the top things to know about its history.

1. The Most Modern Movie Theater in the South

The Ritz Theater in Clinton TN was built in late 1945 under the direction of the War Production Board. The WPB was an agency of the United States government that supervised war production during World War II. The Ritz was one of the most modern theaters in the South at the time, featuring first-run movies, concerts, gospel singing, receptions, and miscellaneous meetings. However, it later closed as a movie theater in the year 1969.

2. Featured in LIFE MagazineRitz Theater

In 1956, 12 students made history by being the first to desegregate a state-supported high school in Clinton TN. There were protests for the integration of these students, some of which happened to take place in front of this theater. Photos of this occurrence were actually pictured in LIFE Magazine.

3. Housed the Red Speeks Country Music Show

In the 1970s, the theater opened its doors again, but this time, it housed the Red Speeks Country Music Show, a local, opry-esque radio show. The theater was closed once more in the year 1987 and remained closed until it’s reopening in 2000.

4. Added to the National Register of Historic Places

The Ritz Theater in Clinton TN was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the year 1998. This is the U.S. government’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that have been deemed worthy of preservation. The sites on the list have been given this status because of their historical significance.

5. Reopened in 2000

After being added to the National Register of Historic Places, the theater was then cleaned up and remodeled. It reopened its doors yet again in the year 2000 and featured movies, as well as live performances. Since then, the Ritz has been a favorite attraction among locals and visitors alike. 

6. The Ritz TodayA woman eating out of a large popcorn tub

 You and your family can visit 7 days a week, and tickets to see the shows there are only $5! There’s even free parking on the street and in the side lots. It’s perfect for a fun and affordable date night or family outing.  

As you can tell, there’s lots of history behind the Ritz Theater in Clinton TN! Be sure to check out all of the other things to do in Anderson County so that you’ll always have an exciting attraction or activity in mind while you’re in town.