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Ritz Theater repairs on hold

Posted at 7:45 AM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 08:45:56-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS — The outter roofing for Ritz Theater was restored in January thanks to the city of Corpus Christi approving a $100,000 Tax Increment and Redevelopment Zone match grant.

Built in 1929, the Ritz Theatre located in downtown Corpus Christi off Taylor and Chaparral street has not had a show since 1989. The theater had to pause some repairs because of the pandemic. Monica Sawyer says restoring the Ritz is a personal passion for her.

“When I discovered the theater in 2004, it was like discovering the Titanic there were still, costumes on hangers and props on stage, ” said Monica Sawyer President of CCPATCH.

After discovering the theater, Sawyer says she found her calling to help the city of Corpus Christi.

“For me, it was the first time I was a part of something that could have such a huge impact on an entire city,” said Sawyer. But her vision to bring the ritz theater to life is on pause.

“Our big fundraiser that we do yearly is called 'Que Bueno Taco-fest' and that got put on hold until next year as well,” said Sawyer.

Phase one of the repairs which includes the plumbing and electrical are on hold to make sure when repairs begin they are efficient.

“We’ve got some different professionals who are actually donating quite a bit of in-kind services towards those restorations so we are excited to get started with those,” said Sawyer.

Sawyer says reviving the Ritz Theater is more than just a personal goal. It’s about bringing back fun and entertainment such as movies, music, comedy shows, and performances.

“Everything that was once here in the theater to movies to comedy to drama by promoting the arts and music and culture,” said Sawyer.

“Most people remember the theater in the 70’s as the Ritz music hall and a lot of great acts got their start here,” said Sawyer.

“While plans for restoration are still on Hold due to the pandemic, Sawyer says they are also planning to do their own broadcast show out of the theater in the future.