The Ritz Theatre and Museum was constructed in 1999 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 in an educational or entertaining format, 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 special energy that leaves you with a special feeling. There is always an exhibition, music, dance or the dramatic arts inside the Ritz that will enthrall, educate and entertain.
The Ritz remembers