Ritz Theater sale finalized


After more than six years of negotiations and fundraising, the group working to save the Ritz Theater finally has closed the deal.

The Ritz Theater Foundation on October 25 completed the sale of the historic theater at 345 NE 13th Avenue, which will allow the group to complete the planned renovation by Spring 2006, reports Gail Olson in the Northeaster.

“It’s tremendously exciting,” said Craig Harris, executive director of Ballet of the Dolls, which will be the theater’s main tenant. “We’re walking on air. I started working on this six and a half years ago. It’s been a long process, but it’s thrilling.”

The $1.3 million project is seen as the “crown jewel” of the 13th Avenue arts district revival, said John Kremer, who owns the nearby California Building. “It will help the restaurants and bars in the area become economic engines,” he said.