Almost five months after comments were made here about Ontario’s old Ritz Theater, previously known as the California Theater, a new comment came in. Except at this late date, reader Dave Linck was unable to append the comment to the entry, and neither was I.
So, here it is:
“When the California became the Ritz in 1961, my Dad, Ontario Postmaster Charles Linck Jr., became a minority investor. He was a huge movie fan and it was a dream come true for him.
“I was in heaven with my 6-year-old twin, Dan…we immediately got free popcorn privileges, not to mention that we got to work behind the candy counter! We got in free with our friends! We knew the guy who played the birthday clown personally! Every kid’s dream, right?
“Anyway, the Ritz had trouble booking A films, as the Granada got all of them due to its affiliation as a Fox West Coast Theatre chain member. The Ritz got a few moneymakers, like ‘Pocketful of Miracles’ with Glenn Ford and Bette Davis, but most of them were along the lines of ’13 Ghosts’ and ‘Six for Texas.’
“Eventually, the majority owners went bankrupt and my dad was stiffed. Someone else bought it, they went belly up, and then the X-rated guys came in. By that time, I was way too old (14) to care about seeing ’13 Ghosts’ and the Ritz became a memory.
“But I can still see the theatre’s interior…walls covered in faux lava rock with sparkly ceilings…new seats unfilled. And there’s my brother and I, racing up and down the empty auditorium aisles, 6-year-old ‘owners’ of our own theatre!!!”
Oh, to be 6 and have the run of a movie theater.