Historic Ritz Theater Opens for First ArtWalk of 2014

Friday night is the first ArtWalk of 2014, and as part of the event, the historic Ritz Theater is once again providing some entertainment.

Kiii News Reporter Brian Burns went Live from the Ritz with the details of the night's events, and has an update on the theater's restoration.

Those taking part in the ArtWalk can see live music and short films at the Ritz. Entertainers include singer/songwriter Louis Quinn, musicians Mando Alaniz and Fil Gutierrez, and film director Cary Cadena.

The Ritz, which opened Christmas Day in 1929, was donated to a local restoration group three years ago. The group, known as the Corpus Christi Patch, has been inspiring volunteers and trying to raise funds to restore the theater.

Patch Founder Monica Sawyer said the ArtWalk provides a valuable tool for her group.

"ArtWalk is about bringing people into the theater so they can see what this landmark really looks like, and why we think it's worth it to restore it back to it's original grandeur," Sawyer said.

Sawyer said a new government program may provide enough funds to complete the entire Ritz restoration project.

"We have to raise $4 million in order to activate that $8 million that can come in to make this restoration happen," she said.

She also said a test project that is coming soon will determine if the theater can be used as a sound studio to create a Live at the Ritz CD.


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