New outdoor cinema and event space opens at historic West Charlotte Ritz Theater
A historic site in West Charlotte called The Ritz hosts the films today with a screening of Disney’s Soul and other celebrations.
What: The site is named after an apartheid era cinema called The Ritz Theater. The new outdoor community space, built on the same location as the old theater, will regularly host outdoor film screenings and other community events.
Why is this important: The former Ritz Theater site has been used as a community gathering space for events such as the National Night Out event which aims to strengthen community-police relations, and the city’s Street Eats initiative.
- The reallocation of the site cements the neighborhood’s vision for its future as a community center.
Event details: The Ritz will be dedicated at 10 a.m. at 1201 Beatties Ford Road.
- Charlotte City Council Representative Malcolm Graham, Planning Director Taiwo Jaiyeoba, Historic Washington Heights Neighborhood Association President Mattie Marshall and Center Charlotte Lowe Store Manager Gary McCoy will speak at the of the ribbon cutting at 10 o’clock.
Free the site’s community celebration begins at 3 pm, with spoken word artist Boris “Bluz” Rogers bringing the festivities to life.
To note : Marshall, a champion of what she calls positive outcomes, works tirelessly to defend Historic Washington Heights, helping to increase $ 275,000 to reallocate the former Ritz Theater site.
- The received a $ 200,000 grant from the Lowe’s 100 Hometowns initiative to improve community space.
- The city has provided $ 50,000 through Corridors of Opportunity, a program to address gaps in infrastructure, labor, housing, business development, public safety, transportation and education. urban planning.
- The city’s Neighborhood Twinning Grant provided $ 25,000.
What they say : “The transformation of this vacant plot into an education and entertainment center will confront and address socio-economic disparities in education and health, as well as the preservation of history and culture,” Marshall said. to Axios. âThis project offers dynamic and inclusive participation, engagement and opportunities for all age groups in a safe environment.
Worthy of your time: The Ritz Theater operated from 1963 until the 1970s, serving briefly as a church before being demolished.
- It was one of four cinemas built for blacks in Charlotte between 1920 and 1960, along with the Grand, the Lincoln and the Savoy.
- Binter created a mural on a shipping container, depicting Queen Charlotte holding a crown.
- “The crown is the crown of the Blacks and Browns of Charlotte, and the other shapes that project onto the main central design are the movements of Blacks and people throughout the city, whether of their own accord or not,” Binter told Axios.