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$2.4 Million Raised for Renovation of old theater, does it look renovated to you?

The Ritz
The Ritz

Every now and then I think back on my generally sad excuse of a teenage life. My memories are vague at best which I assume has to do with the fact that my teenage life was pretty damn boring. At least that’s how it feels when I hear about other people’s teenage shenanigans. I had this memory of going to a club type place here in Midland that looked like an old theater on the inside. I lived in Odessa at the time and had only just moved there from Hobbs New Mexico so the whole area was totally unfamiliar to me. In the years since I’ve lived here in Midland I’ve thought about that memory as if it were just some dream or something I made up since I could never figure out where or if this place even existed. Well sure as shit I ran across The old Ritz Theater while I was out taking pictures of abandoned buildings in downtown Midland. A few minutes of research later confirmed that I had in fact been to a club that used to be a theater and this was it! Sad to see it in such disrepair especially considering it’s just as old as the Petroleum Building and it’s considered a historic landmark, both The Ritz and the Petroleum Building were built in 1928. From what I’ve read online the theater has changed owners three or four times just in the last few years all with the intentions of renovation with no follow through. In September of 2014 Basin PBS bought the theater with plans to renovate the building for thier new head quarters and television studio. They raised $2.7 million dollars for the project with the city of Midland contributing $900,000 of that. In this Midland Reporter Telegram article it’s said that construction started in October of 2016, but from what I saw on the outside at least, not much has been done.  I would love to see it given a new life and I’m relieved to know the memory I have is real and not something I made up in an attempt to trick myself into thinking I was a cooler teenager than I really was.

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