Check out the wall of the back room at Gus’s BBQ! I don’t know if this is an original advertising mural from the old Ritz Theater or just an artistic nod to the past, but it makes for a wonderful mealtime backdrop. (If you’re curious about The Kid From Brooklyn, you can see a clip right here.)
The Ritz was built around 1916 in the spot that is now Gus’s parking lot. When it opened, it was known as The Colonial Theater. Both it and the Rialto were operated by Circle Theaters until the mid 1930s when they were taken over by Fox West Coast. On December 13, 1936, the LA Times mentioned a robbery at the Ritz: “An armed bandit escaped with $53.10. Cashier Ruth Shroder and the doorman were threatened with a revolver.” (Maybe that’s why Circle Theaters lost interest in the theater’s operations…)
The Ritz was demolished in 1961, but thankfully the Rialto stands. For now.
Read the Full Story at Glimpses of South Pasadena