Friday, June 8, 2012

Phantom Of The Ritz (1988)

"Phantom Of The Ritz" - Ritz Theater
"Phantom Of The Ritz" - Ritz Theater
"Phantom Of The Ritz" - Ritz Theater
"Phantom Of The Ritz" - Ritz Theater

The titular Ritz Theater from the very awful film Phantom Of The Ritz (1988) is an actual theater, located in Ybor City in Tampa, Florida.  The theater was built in 1917 as the Rivoli Theater, changing it's name to the Ritz Theater in the 1930s.  In 1965, the theater was sold to another company, who turned it into an adult theater, playing primarily X-rated movies.  The theater closed in 1982.  It remained closed for a decade, though during this time there were attempts to restore and re-open the theater.  It was during this time that the theater made its on-screen appearances.  

In 1992, the theater re-opened as a nightclub known as The Masquerade.  The Masquerade closed its doors in 2006.  The theater re-opened as the Ritz Theater on June 26th, 2008.  However, the vertical "Ritz Theatre" sign, which can be seen in the film, has since been removed.  The theater is also featured in the movie Amateur Night (1986), which was written by Phantom Of The Ritz writer Tom Dempsey. 
Location: Tampa, FL
Coordinates: 27.960207, -82.442786
Visible on Street View: Yes

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