RITZ THEATRE, CULTURAL MUSEUM, AND EDUCATION CENTER RENOVATION
The Ritz Theatre and LaVilla Cultural Museum combine to form the centerpiece of the LaVilla Revitalization effort. This 32,000 square foot complex consists of a 428-seat theatre for live productions, a 2,000 square foot lobby that doubles as a banquet hall, and a 10,000 square foot museum and educational space.
Originally slated for restoration, the cost of found to be prohibitive. The solution was to retain the original, architecturally significant corner-face and proceed with new construction. Keeping with the "Egyptian-inspired Art Deco," the design provided for both the theatre and museum to be built together as one structure. Allowing for efficient dual use of public and support area, the building also integrates current standards for performing arts as well as the latest in theatrical and audio technology.
The Ritz Theatre and Museum was constructed in 1999 on the site of the 1929 Ritz Theater movie house in Jacksonville’s historic African American community of La Villa. The mission of the Ritz Theatre and Museum is to “research, record, and preserve the material and artistic culture of African American life in Northeast Florida and the African Diaspora, and present in an educational or entertaining format, the many facets that make up the historical and cultural legacy of this community.”
Square Footage: 32,000
Completion Date: 1999
Location: Jacksonville, FL