The Ritz Theater Downtown

Some of the best rock concerts ever were held at the RITZ downtown Corpus. Not huge venue, not sure of capacity, but Judas Priest, Foghat, and UFO, Legs Diamond are some of the acts I saw there. At the UFO concert in 1978, I found a wallet with $140 dollars in it. Wow! that means I got to go see UFO for free (eh, was $14 ticket) but afterwards, lots of beer. There was no ID in there, but left wallet at snack bar (after making it my little ATM).

Bands sounded super in this small place, and had sloped arena, former movie theater. And wonderful snack bar, hot dogs, burgers, popcorn, everyone had munchies at many of the concerts I went to as everyone was just stoned you know.

I never got to watch a movie here. Just concerts & not until I was teen as this was in The Forbidden Zone north of Zales Jewelry and La Retama Library momma had set since there was porn peep shows in this areas, (ha ha you had to put 25 cents in for every 5 minutes in small video machines, don't ask me how I know) Alamo Pawnshop was on the corner with Ritz, and in between the Silver Bar, which later turned into XXX Girls! place. In front was a small Shoe Repair place with old black man that used to stand outside rain or shine and generally do brisk business shining shoes, you crawl up on his bench, relax, read newspaper, heat, humidity, no big deal he would shine shoes in less than 5 minutes. Directly across (east) was the always hectic Greyhound Bus Terminal. And the street separated Greyhound from Levines Department Store which had lots of nice clothes at reasonable price, we even bought some stuff there. Was told not to look across street at painted almost naked girlie on XXX Girls! place, but Tommy & me would just giggle. No girl looked like THAT! And across from Alamo Pawn was Kresses Five & Dime, they later changed name since nothing 5 & 10 cents anymore. Was a nice place with creaky wooden floors. Sadly I didn't get to go to this place much as kid since was in Forbidden Zone, so stayed blocks down in the 'Comfort Zone' with Woolworth's, Toy Shoppe, J C Penneys, Fedway & W T Grant.

Hope the old Ritz will be saved, as had beautiful lobby, and the acoustics inside this place wonderful. Note in 2nd photo the old harbor bridge looming in background. There is a effort to SAVE this Corpus Christi jewel also. Nice to see as Corpus Christi like Houston sort of not keen on saving historic places for another generation to enjoy. Here is the CC Ritz website go check it out!

Photo #1 the Ritz early years; Photo #2 shows view from side, Alamo Pawn, & Silver Bar, later XXX Girlies!! there, old black man shoeshine not out though in this angle, Photo #3, inside beauty, Photo #4 renovations. This place is haunted as hell, not as much as USS Lexington or Center Building, but go search youtube for 'ritz theater ghost' for videos from paranormal investigators

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