Our small town theater made its debut as the Rockville Opera House in 1915. In 1935, the first overhanging marquee was displayed for the first time with the feature titled “Curly Top,” starring Shirley Temple. As time progressed and as our community developed, the second overhanging marquee was presented to the town in 1948 and remains the building’s symbol today.
With weather, time, and age, our little theater and its marquee began to suffer. In 2003, the first major restoration of the building and the marquee took place. It carried us through sixteen years of memories and community entertainment that has brought us to where we are today. Over the years, the historic marquee has begun to drop slightly and has suffered from water and other weather damage. It became a safety hazard for our patrons and employees.
Our marquee, one of the oldest still in existence, begs to be returned back to its former glory. On April 13, 2019, the 1948 marquee was removed from the front of the theater and is going through a total restoration. We are patiently waiting and are excited for its return.
On behalf of Parke Players and its Ritz Theater, we would like to thank everyone who comes to our hometown theater to enjoy a movie or live stage production. Without your continued patronage, the theater could not exist. We look forward to serving audiences in the years to come and to share our newly restored marquee with you, our community, and our many visitors.
The Ritz Theater holds childhood memories and a place that continues to create family entertainment. If you love our little theater and the staple it has become in our community, please donate and be a part of keeping the history and this beacon shining in our small town.
See you at the Ritz!