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Ritz Theater

Ritz Theater
1148 East Jersey St, Elizabeth, NJ 07201

A Treasured Landmark

In the heart of Elizabeth lies one of the city’s most precious gems—the Ritz Theater. You won’t want to miss out on visiting this beautiful landmark when you’re in town. Built in 1926 with seating for 2,772 people, The Ritz is one of New Jersey’s oldest and largest fully operational theaters. With its art deco style, the theater is a visual marvel in its own right. To this day it continues to welcome vivacious and exhilarating performers from all genres and disciplines.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the theater has been host to some of the brightest stars in show business throughout its long history. The Ritz’s stage has seen the likes of amazing R&B musicians such as Ray Charles and Chaka Khan and jazz legend Miles Davis. Since the days of vaudeville onto stand up comedy, Ritz audiences have been delighted by hilarious entertainers like The Marx Brothers, Jack Benny, George Burns, and Rodney Dangerfield. Plus, author Maya Angelou and folk rock musician Harry Chapin are also among the many revered names that have graced the Ritz stage over the years.

A Rich History

The Ritz Theater’s history began when Jacob Fabian bought the site of what was once the Drake Opera House in 1925. He soon hired an architect to design and build the majestic theater that still stands today. The Ritz officially opened for business on March 9, 1926. Warner Brothers took over operation of the theater by 1941 and it remained a cultural beacon in New Jersey up until the 1960s when it reached a period of decline. Although the property managed to stay afloat through the 1970s, it faced demolition in 1980 as an attempt was made to put in a parking lot.

Thankfully, the historic monument was rescued in the nick of time by generous philanthropists. The theater’s saviors soon set out to restore the Ritz but unfortunately ran out of money in 1989. The Ritz was not set aside for long though. In 1994 George Castro purchased the property and restored this gem to its 1920’s opulence. Castro put The Ritz to use as a performing arts theater for about a decade. The theater changed hands again in 2014 and continues to be an architectural and historic gem in Elizabeth.

Your Visit to The Ritz

You could be part of history by attending an event at The Ritz and beholding its spectacular beauty and entertainment with your own eyes.

The Ritz is only open to the ticket holders or special event invitees. If the Ritz is on your must-see list for your trip to Elizabeth, be sure to check the events schedule and buy tickets well in advance!

Even if your visit falls on a date when no events are scheduled, you will be stunned by the Ritz’s exterior—art deco design and monumental beauty. From the moment you walk up to face the theater and its original marquee you will be transported to a Jazz Age world of glamour and style.

As an Event Venue

The Ritz Theater also hosts private events and gatherings. Imagine saying your wedding vows within the hallowed halls of this historic landmark. What better place to hold a milestone anniversary party than at this majestic marvel that has withstood the challenges of time?

Experience a little slice of old Hollywood in the heart of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Call 908-351-7575 or email information@ritztheatre.net for more information.

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