March 6, 2010
The Ritz opened as an opera house on Main Street in Blytheville (Mississippi County) in the early 1900s. A popular entertainment venue, the building was renovated in 1951. The large crowd shown here at the Ritz is participating in a live broadcast of local radio station KLCN in the mid-1950s. Over the years, the building fell into disrepair, but it was restored to its 1950s look in the 1990s. It now serves as the Ritz Civic Center and is home to the local arts council.