The Ritz Ybor

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The Ritz Ybor
The Ritz New.jpg
Exterior view of venue (c.2010)
Former namesRivoli Theatre (1917-31)
Ritz Theatre (1931-87)
Masquerade (1992-2006)
Address1503 E 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605-3713
LocationYbor City Historic District
OwnerCapitano and Garcia LLC
OperatorSunset Events
Capacity1,114
Construction
Opened1917
Renovated
  • 1929
  • 1931
  • 1961
  • 1983
  • 2006-08
  • 2013
ArchitectBonfoey and Elliott
Website
Venue Website
Building details
General information
Renovation cost$2 million
($2.49 million in 2018 dollars[1])
Renovating team
ArchitectAlfonso Architects
Main contractorDPR Construction

The Ritz Ybor (originally the Rivoli Theatre) is an events venue located in the historic Ybor City, within Tampa, Florida. Opening in 1917, the theatre catered to the Afro-Cuban community in the emerging neighborhood. Throughout the years, the venue was served as a cinema, adult movie theater, nightclub and concert venue. The theatre was transformed into its current incarnation in 2008; becoming one of Tampa's premier live music and events venue.[2]

History[edit]

In 1958

In 1917, the building opened as the Rivoli Theatre,[3] a red brick building with a silent movie theater on the first floor and various apartments on the second floor. It was the first theater of its kind in the United States.[4] In 1931, the building underwent an expansion and reopened as The Ritz Theatre.[5] It continued to show a variety of standard films until December 31, 1965, when it transitioned to nude shows and XXX-rated films.[5]

In September 1983, developer William E. Field purchased the building and remodeled it once again.[5] Field’s ambitions never materialized, and a bank foreclosure in 1987 forced him to close his doors.[5] That same year, the building was leased to The Masquerade nightclub.[6] As Masquerade, the venue saw the performances of a variety of rising alternative acts.[6] In 1988, the Capitano family purchased the building as an investment property.[3] In 1973 and 1989, Ybor City was listed on the National Register of Historic Places[7] and the National Historic Landmark District,[8] respectively. This building was listed as a contribution in both entries. In 2006, the Masquerade tenants were evicted.[6] The building underwent a $2 million renovation and on June 26, 2008 opened its doors as The Ritz Ybor, a special events and live music venue.[9]

The building is located in the heart of historic Ybor City. The Ritz Ybor is a short trolley ride away from the Channelside district, two to three miles from downtown Tampa and a 15-minute car ride from Tampa International Airport. It is located within walking distance of the Centro Ybor Entertainment Complex and the Ybor City Hillsborough County Community College campus.

Venue[edit]

The venue counts with over 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2), three distinct rooms, a grand foyer, full service bars, a state of the art lighting system and a caterers prep kitchen that allows for outside licensed and insured catering. The three rooms inside the venue are the Royal Room, the Rivoli Room and the Theatre Ballroom. The Theatre Ballroom has a 25-by-44-foot (7.6 m × 13.4 m) theatrical stage. The Grand Foyer, which connects all three rooms, houses the original terrazzo floors, art deco mirrors and wall sconces.[9]

Noted performers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ "The Ritz Ybor: Special Events". Smugmug. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Lansing, George (November 8, 2009). "Ritz Theater, Ybor City, Tampa, FL". Digital Commons. University of North Florida. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  4. ^ "Ritz Theater (Rivoli Theater)". AIA Tampa Bay. American Institute of Architects. July 26, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Hawes, Leland (June 3, 2001). "The Ritz". The Tampa Tribune. Media General. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Cridlin, Jay. "Life after the Masquerade: Where's Ybor heading now?". Tampa Bay Times. Times Publishing Company. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  7. ^ "Ybor City Historic District". National Register of Historic Places. August 28, 1974. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  8. ^ "Ybor City Historic District Tampa, Florida". National Park Service. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Venue". The Ritz Ybor Official Website. Retrieved November 16, 2015.

Coordinates: 27°57′37″N 82°26′34″W / 27.96016°N 82.44276°W / 27.96016; -82.44276