Ritz Sign Will Shine at Fat Tuesday Celebration

The downtown landmark Ritz Theatre once again features its historic neon sign. A historically accurate reproduction of the theatre’s original sign is in place on the building and installation of the neon is now underway.

Fundraising to specifically pay for the reproduction began last August  when Main Street Winter Haven and the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce joined the Ritz 100 to stage a “Wine for the Sign” event. That event plus about $8,000 in additional sponsor dollars funded the more than $20,000 sign.

This color photograph was used on a postcard from the early 1950s.

This color photograph was used on a postcard from the early 1950s.

The Ritz will officially dedicate the sign on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 with a “Fat Tuesday” event beginning at 6:30 p.m. There will be signature Hurricane drinks, jambalaya and other creole treats. A brief program begins at 6:45 p.m. with recognition of sponsors.

The switch will be thrown and the new sign will illuminate Central Avenue at approximately 7 p.m. Admission is $10 per person and tickets are available in the Chamber Lobby or at the Ritz.

Thank You Sign Donors both monetary and in-kind:

Star Sponsor:
WalMart SuperCenter #3347/ Winter Haven Chamber Foundation

Headliner Sponsor:
BB&T Bank

Main Street Winter Haven Facade Grant

Opening Act Sponsors:
Barbara Hart
Florida Traditions Bank
Krieger Electric
Polk State College
WHHS Class of 1967

Encore Sponsors:
Allen & Company
Oakley Rhinehart Cassidy
Six Ten Corporation
Dodge Chrysler Jeep of Winter Haven


This entry was posted in Downtown, Main Street Winter Haven, Ritz Theatre, Success Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ritz Sign Will Shine at Fat Tuesday Celebration

  1. Judy Cleaves says:

    The sign is beautiful! And feels like a step back in time! Congratulations Ritz and your patrons for making it happen!

  2. Scott Kline says:

    What a fantastic addition to downtown. Can’t wait to see the neon lighting up Central Avenue.

  3. It’s been a long time coming so it’s a welcome sight. What a job this crew has done to pull the Ritz together, make it a fine entertainment facility, and welcome the community to its door. Just one more reason to be in love with Winter Haven and the downtown center of activity.

  4. Rodney Chauncey says:

    The Ritz is truly a gem to the City of Winter Haven; thanks to the sponsors for making it happen!

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