In 1999, The Ritz Theatre and Museum was constructed on the site of the 1929 Ritz Theater movie house in Jacksonville’s historic African American community of La Villa. During La Villa’s height of activity in the 1920s-1960s, it was known as the “Harlem of the South.”
The mission of the Ritz Theatre and Museum is to “research, record, and preserve the material and artistic culture of African American life in Northeast Florida and the African Diaspora, and present it in an educational or entertaining format, showcasing the many facets that make up the historical and cultural legacy of this community.”
Building on the community’s proud heritage, the Ritz is truly a special place where history’s missing chapters are being restored, where talent is nurtured, and creativity is celebrated. It is a community gathering place where ideas are exchanged, information is disseminated, and a roadmap for the future is developed.
Whether visiting the museum, attending a concert, viewing a film or listening to a lecture, the Ritz has a unique energy that leaves you with a special feeling. There is always something going on, such as an exhibition, music or dance performance, or the dramatic arts inside the Ritz that will enthrall, educate and entertain.
If you’re looking for something to do in downtown Jacksonville, be sure to check out the calendar of events for upcoming holiday and seasonal performances, as well as community gatherings at the Ritz Theatre and Museum. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, and offers both individual and group rates. The Ritz Theatre and Museum is also the perfect place for special occasions, such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries and more. For rental information, please contact the venue at 904-633-6194.
To learn more about how you can support the Ritz Theatre and Museum through financial contributions and donations, or by volunteering your time, please visit our ‘Support the Legacy’ page.