Puttin’ on the Ritz: New Vibe at Century-Old Theater in Scranton

A more than century-old theater that’s played host to many vaudeville acts ranging from the Marx Brothers to Harry Houdini has a new look and new vibe.

The Ritz Theater at 222 Wyoming Avenue in downtown Scranton got its start in the Electric City on September 2, 1907.

Now, thanks to a group of volunteers who a part of Leadership Lackawanna class 2019, there are even more historical images on the walls that help tell the theater's history over the past 100 years.

Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey scoped out the new look on Thursday.

The administrators who run The Ritz Theater encourage the public to stop in Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and tour the local landmark for free.

If you have any memorabilia that ties into the theater, you're always welcome to donate for display.

Today, the Ritz Theater is well-known as a performing arts academy for kids. It's called the Creative and Performing Arts Academy of NEPA or CAPAA.

Special Fundraiser Saturday, May 11, to Help Area Kids:

Ryan also highlighted upcoming events at the theater and a newly created nonprofit to help fund scholarships so youngsters in the community can attend theater programs at CAPAA. The upcoming fundraiser all ties into a family friendly show called "Crystal Ball Cabaret" which takes place this Saturday, May 11, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22.00 a person. Head here for tickets to Saturday's event.

CAPPA also has other family-friendly shows planned for later this month. Click here to learn more!

Surprising Discovery at the Ritz Theater:

Earlier this month, while renovating the theater, workers discovered something unexpected between the building's historic walls. Head here to check out that Newswatch 16 story from Stacy Lange.

About Leadership Lackawanna:

In Leadership Lackawanna’s 10-month Core Program, participants gain leadership, interpersonal and managerial skills, as well as an enhanced understanding of the issues relevant to the Greater Scranton region, through monthly sessions. Areas of focus can include community development, economic development, government, health care, law, education, quality of life, sustainability, history, and media, with sessions featuring widely-recognized specialists.

Members of the class also devote a large portion of their time to develop and implement community projects, hence enhancing their leadership abilities, fostering teamwork and benefiting local nonprofit organizations. Leadership Lackawanna’s Core Program accepts applications from candidates who live or work in Lackawanna County. Partial tuition scholarships are available on a limited basis.

Established in 1982, Leadership Lackawanna’s four programs -- Teen, Core, Executive Leadership, and Welcome Scranton! -- have graduated more than 2,200 community leaders. For more information, click here or call 570-342-7711. Each year, the Leadership Lackawanna Core Program class completes various service projects helping to fulfill a need in our community. By working with fellow non-profit organizations, class participants expand their leadership abilities and further develop their skills. This year, Leadership Lackawanna's 2019 Core Program Team Puttin' on the Ritz was assigned a project to transform the stairwells and second-floor lobby of the Ritz Theater in downtown Scranton, using an emphasis on historic significance to help bring this iconic downtown landmark back to life.

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