Architects hold Q&A session to discuss future of The Ritz Theatre revitalization effort

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OTJ Architects have worked on dozens of buildings like The Ritz, including the Plaza Theatre in El Paso.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Q&A session was held Wednesday to discuss the future of the Ritz Theatre located in downtown Corpus Christi. 

The session was held by OTJ Architects and Schuler Shook, who are in charge of the theatre’s restoration.

OTJ Architects have worked on dozens of buildings like The Ritz, including the Plaza Theatre in El Paso, which was originally designed by the same architect who designed the Ritz Theatre.

3NEWS spoke with OTJ Architect’s Gary Martinez, who said there are not many theatres are not many theatre’s like this left in the country and is excited to work with the community to bring the building back to life. 

‘From the very first moment i walked in this building, I could tell it was a really special theatre,” he said.

Martinez told 3NEWS that the building holds a special place in the hearts of many who have been inside. 

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“This is where people had their first date, or their first kiss or whatever else happened here. But to be apart of the community and to bring something like this back to them it becomes a point of community pride,” he said. 

Wednesday was the first day the team got to assess the building and see what the next steps are. Corpus Christi PATCH Executive Director Cheryl Votzmeyer-Rios said she’s excited to take part in the project, adding that the city is ready for something like this. 

“One of the great things is that we have a board of directors and they have a passion for revitalizing and rehabilitating this theatre,” she said. “One of the things that it will do is add another level of entertainment for Corpus Christi and tourists coming to town.”

Rios said that after assessing the building, the team will go back and do a cost analysis for how much the project will be and is looking forward to the next steps. They said they could possibly have people working in the theatre in less than a year.

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