May 24, 2012

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Owners of Newburgh’s Ritz Theater want to restore it to its original splendor

NEWBURGH – Poughkeepsie has its Bardavon; Kingston has its Ulster Performing Arts Center. Owners of the Ritz Theater in Newburgh hope to bring that performance center back to its original splendor when the original stage was opened in 1913.

Original stage at the Ritz

Current day marquee

Even though the Broadway facility was converted to a two-screen movie theater in 1959, the original stage is still there and Executive Director Tricia Haggerty Wenz hopes to raise the $12 million to restore the Ritz and have it open, with 825 seats, for both live theater and movies, in two years.

“Arts and culture have been such a staple to cultures, communities, urban centers, and Newburgh needs to go back to that,” she said. “At one point, there were six theaters all at one time happening in the City of Newburgh. So, there is no reason why we can’t support one theater and it’s the last remaining historic theater.”

The group hopes to secure $6 million in loans and historic tax credits and raise the other $6 million. They already have $1.3 million the bank, Wenz said.


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