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Title "Razing of Ritz Theatre building recalls glamorous days of big time show business" from Fernandina Beach (Fla.) News-Leader, February 29, 1952
Object Name Newspaper
Scope & Content An article from the Fernandina Beach (Fla.) News-Leader published February 29, 1952 written by W. N. (Bill) Galphin.
Title: Razing of Ritz Theatre building recalls glamorous days of big time show business
Article details the history of the Ritz Theatre which was built just after the Civil War. The property for the building was purchased in November 1872 from Louis M. Coxetter by the Fernandina Lyceum Association, a stock company formed by a group of leading citizens, including George R. Fairbanks, John Hedges, Gustave Stark, H. E. Dotterer, S. A. Swann, W. B. C. Duryee, and others. Mr. Hedges was president; Mr. Stark was treasurer. The completed building was known as Lyceum Hall, and was also referred to as "The Opera House." Funds were raised from 1872 to 1878.
It was used as a Courthouse (City and County) until 1891.
Mr. Charlie Stark was one a first managers; Mr. Walter S.Whitney was a later manager.
Various shows and entertainers that appeared between the years of 1900 and 1914 are listed including "Oklahoma," the Wallacks, Miss Mabel Page, "Blind Tom," and many more.
The building was also use for county fairs, a small animal show, "hops" staged by the Fernandina Light Artillery.

In 1917, the Lyceum Hall was purchased by Mr. Jackson Mizell who sold it to Mr. Albert Hirth in 1920. Mr. Hirth operated it as a movie theatre called the "Rex." Mr. L. A. Boy and Floyd Ziegler leased the movie theater. Mr. Hirth sold it to Mr. George W. Anderson in July 1922. In 1924, Shave and Roux bought the theatre and then sold it to Mr. F. W. Sadler later the same year. It was now known as the "Amelia" theatre. Mr. D. B. White acquired the property in May 1934 and operated it as "Ritz" theatre. Mr. C. E. Beech purchased it from Mr. White 1937 and later reopened it as the "Ilan" theatre in 1948. In 1952, it was purchased by Messrs. N. S. Hernandez and George T. Davis who dismantled it.1872-1952
Catalog Number 2005.100.001
Collection AIMH
Accession number 2005.100
Caption Razing of Ritz Theatre
Number of images 3
People Galphin, W. N. (Bill)
Coxetter, Louis
Fairbanks, George R.
Hedges, John
Stark, Gustave
Dotterer, H. E.
Swann, S. A.
Duryee, W. B. C.
Stark, Charlie
Whitney, Walter S.
Mizell, Jackson
Hirth, Albert
Boy, L. A.
Ziegler, Floyd
Anderson, George W.
Sadler, F. W.
Whihte, D. B.
Beech, C. E.
Hernandez, N. S.
Davis, George T.
Search Terms Ritz Theatre
Fernandina Lyceum Association
Lyceum Hall
Opera House
Fernandina Light Artillery
Nassau County Courthouse
Rex Theatre
Ilan Theatre
Amelia Theatre
Subjects Theaters
Classification Theaters