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Save The Ritz

By Staff | Nov 6, 2012

It was three years ago in mid November 2009 that Jay Richards refurbished with his own money (no grants) and reopened the closed Ritz Theater. A full page advertisement in the Luminary called it the “Miracle on Main Street.” Our “Miracle,” the theater, now faces a crisis due to the digital age – switch to digital or close. The Ritz with its marquee is a vanishing reminder of small town America. I think ours is the only one left in the county.

The WVIA “Our Town” response to their pledge drive was an astonishing success for them. Not only was the goal higher than any of the other nine towns, but our people put it

23% over the top, 245 pledged with a goal of only 200.

It is that success that proves to me that small town America still exists, and now we face our first challenge. As you hopefully read from Jay’s article, it is planned to make the theatre a non profit corporation, and seek donors by a variety of ways. That will take five months to do before seeking the digital equipment from donors can begin. Then another several months to raise the non profit theatre’s $75,000 to go digital.

I read that $4500 is needed now to start the non profit corporation procedure plus the big oil burner furnace must be replaced by gas to dramatically reduce his operating costs – another $2,000. To help do this Muncy Bank has opened a “Save the Ritz” account.

Jay Richards, having kept me informed on his crisis, I became the first donor to this new account, thereby being the first to put money where my mouth and feelings are. I hope you will also. $6,500 is needed.

I fervently hope that the people of our area will also join in this Save the Ritz as they did to WVIA. Give Jay a Merry Christmas so that he and our residents will have a Happy New Year with an open theatre with neon lighted marquee. He deserves it.


Tom Taber

Muncy, PA