Puttin’ a New Coat on the Ritz

HAWLEY, Pa. -- After years trying not to look up at the ceilings at a theater in Wayne County, patrons will soon be able to enjoy the show with a fresh coat of paint.

The summer season opens in just a couple months at the Ritz Company Playhouse in Hawley. The place is getting its first makeover in years removing the eyesore above the audience and the stage.

Before the curtain goes up on the first musical or comedy of the season, painters are putting a new coat on the Ritz. The decades-old playhouse in downtown Hawley is well known for the musicals and comedies but also the need for a makeover.

Florence Muller stopped by the salon across the street from the Ritz Company Playhouse. She's a regular during the shows that include actors and actresses from right here in our area.

"It needed a ceiling painting and some interior work, but the local talent is fantastic," said Muller.

The Ritz Company Playhouse has stood for more than 80 years in downtown Hawley, and lately has started showing its age, so the nonprofit that runs the place is pumping money into it for renovations, hoping it will pay off and get people lining up for tickets this summer.

"A lot of water stains and just, you know, almost 80 years of wear and tear. It's finally time to make it happen," said Sarah Clauss, stage manager and board president of the theater.

Clauss showed us around the playhouse a bit in disarray for now with 5,000 square-feet of ceiling to paint

The renovations are made possible by donations to pay for the paint job, as much as $15,000.

"We're proud to do the job of renovating, paintwork, and bring some life back into the old girl here," said Dave Sutor of Sutor Painting.

This part of the renovations at the Ritz should take about two to three more weeks, then auditions for the upcoming season and folks will be able to enjoy the theater for years to come.

2 comments

  • savescrantonhistory

    I thought they were talking about the former Ritz in downtown Scranton. That place was falling apart too for a while. I haven’t been there since they made it into a restaurant or whatever.

    • StateLionPro

      Could have sworn this article was going to be about the Ritz in Muncy. That’s currently being renovated as well.

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