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Historic downtown theatre gets new purpose

By Staff | May 20, 2019

BARB BARRETT/The Luminary Brothers Royce and Matthew Eyer are refinishing the old Ritz Theatre in downtown Muncy. They are standing in front of a back drop made from original wood that is now part of the new juice bar and cafe. Also discovered was this old sign which they did over with new plexi-glass and framed in wood from the stage area.

MUNCY – Adding a new asset to the Muncy community has been a big endeavor for two brothers, Royce and Matthew Eyer. Rich in history and part of the Muncy Main Street since the early 20’s, the Ritz Theatre is getting a whole new facelift.

Royce Eyer purchased the building last December with the intention of turning the complex into a juice bar with light fare, outdoor and eat-in seating.

As demolition took place, and with the help of Matthew Eyer, the brothers decided to use the space that once held the theatre stage and seating, for a sports complex. “This would be a great place for families and kids to share their time together, and for birthday parties,” said Royce as he showed the expansive 74×27 square foot area from an upstairs balcony that will be used for parents.

This week the two brothers will be doing lots of dry wall that includes an 18 foot ceiling. Royce said he started his first year at Muncy High School as the wrestling coach and both Eyers have school aged students who are looking forward to the new facility. “We would like to add some batting cages and basketball hoops,” Royce said. He said he is very involved with athletics and would like students to be able to come weekends to the Ritz Sportsplex and Cafe. “This will be a family atmosphere for kids.”

They are hoping to have the sports part completed by late October and the juice bar and cafe finished in time for summer. “We will have an outdoor eating area with a service bar,” explained Matthew who also graduated from Hughesville High School. Using his knowledge of construction and design, the realtor is helping his brother fix up the building to be used once again for the public.

BARB BARRETT/The Luminary The new Ritz Cafe will have a soft opening sometime this summer as construction is well underway. The Sportsplex will be completed sometime in early fall.

Soon customers can get ice cream, panini cheeses, wraps, salads, and juices for lunch. A deli will be added with healthy options, fresh food, and quick service according to Matthew. “No deep fried!”

An old sign was found and reframed and mounted on a back wall in the cafe. All wood was repurposed. A sliding barn door was rebuilt with stage flooring that enters into the sports complex, and a back drop was custom built with the original woodwork and floor joists and added to the juice bar. The outdoor marquee will remain the same and it still lights up! The counter top and table tops were all built from six sets of old wooden doors. Matthew said that he tried to recycle and repurpose as much as possible including the lobby area.

“We would like to make this available for weddings, events, and business meetings. This will help encourage downtown growth and business,” Royce said. Working with codes and updates, the brothers are hoping for a soft opening in early summer.