Ritz Theatre at night

The historic Ritz sign lights downtown Winter Haven.

Court ends Ritz Theatre Receivership, New Ritz 100 Board is elected and Theatre Winter Haven develops the entertainment.

It is a new day for downtown Winter Haven’s historic Ritz Theatre. The following information details a return to a new board made up of Winter Haven area residents and their new officers.

Through a creative contractual arrangement, Theatre Winter Haven will arrange programming for the historic for the next 12 months and possible into the future.

Here are the important details.

Charles Davis, court appointed receiver for the Ritz Theatre, called meeting on July 8, 2019. Davis stated his goal was to reestablish the Board of Directors of the Ritz 100, Inc. and end the receivership.

The receiver had determined that 44 individuals qualified as members of the Ritz 100, Inc. In accordance with the bylaws established in 1996, a slate of nominations was developed and presented for the consideration of the 34 members present and elected a slate of 13 directors. The board then met and elected officers.

The reorganized Board comprises: Thomas Oldt is president, Judy Cleaves is vice president, Kim Short is secretary and Jay Gray is treasurer.

Other Board members include: Valerie Dollison, Bob Gernert, Mike Kingham, Steve Kalogridis, Bonnie Parker, Rick Renardson, Gary Schemmer, Seretha Tinsley and Mark Turner.

The board will also include three non-voting ex-officio positions: City of Winter Haven; MainStreet Winter Haven and the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce.

The board is currently organizing into committees including Bylaws Review, Building and Maintenance, Fundraising, and Communications.

Through the leadership of Davis, acting as receiver, the Ritz financial and occupancy issues were addressed and all debts were paid.

Fire suppression deficiencies were also corrected and certified safe for public use. Charles Davis, J. D. Hatton and many dedicated volunteers gave countless hours and used their considerable expertise to ensure the Ritz Theatre would not only survive, but would have the best chance for success in the future.

Dan Chesnicka and the Theatre Winter Haven team are working diligently to make that success a reality.

Your Ritz is back!

To view upcoming events planned for The Ritz visit www.ritzwinterhaven.com.


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