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Owner Looks to Sell Ritz Movie Theater

MUNCY — The box office is closed. There are no movies playing at the Ritz, a movie theater that opened in Muncy back in the 1920s. “If we had popped a lit...

MUNCY -- The box office is closed. There are no movies playing at the Ritz, a movie theater that opened in Muncy back in the 1920s.

“If we had popped a little corn, put some candy in the counter, and soda in the cooler it could be open next weekend,” said Jay Richards.

Inside, Labor Day decorations are still hung up. That`s because the theater has been temporarily closed since September.

“We`re closed due to an auto accident I was in on my way to the theater,” said Jay Richards.

A sign on the front reads "temporarily closed." Owner, Jay Richards says he has back, knee, and shoulder trouble. He can`t run the single screen theater right now.

“Well it`s kind of in limbo now. It all depends on my health,” said Richards.

Richards runs the theater with the help of his mom and some family. It`s not enough. Now he`s considering retiring and selling the theater.

“And to lose a very nostalgic piece like this would be very devastating,” said Richards.

Movie goers from around Muncy say they would hate to see the Ritz close down for good. Those same people say if the owners can`t pay for it, they would like someone to step in and keep it open.

“It`s a historical building. Actually, I think the community would miss it,” said Darla Hill from Muncy.

"He said, 'I don`t want him--I going to cry,' he said. 'I don`t want him to sell it. I like him,'" said Tootie Harner from Pennsdale.

Back in 2012, the business looked to raise money to become a nonprofit. That way donations could be used to help pay for the switch from film to new digital equipment. Although the business did not raise enough, Tootie Harner says she donated.

“It is part of the community. It would never be the same without this theater. It would never be,” said Harner.

Richards hopes to sell the theater for $165,000. People who are interested in buying the theater should contact the Ritz directly.