The MYA Museum Movie Theatre

We are excited to announce that we are installing a movie theatre in the old sunroom. Why are we doing this? Because during the segregation era, there was the Ritz movie theatre on West Jackson Street. It was a movie theatre for "colored people" only and for many years, this theatre was a part of the lives of many people in the historic Stephen Street District. Today there are those who recall as children being sent, on Saturdays, by their mothers to spend a day in the theatre. Admission in those days was ten cents and for five cents you could buy a tootsie roll candy. In the 1990s Jule Anderson and a group of African American citizens attempted to save the Ritz from demolition. They hoped to transform the building into a entertainment center; unfortunately their efforts did not work and the building was torn down.

In honor of the old Ritz movie theatre and the efforts of those who tried to save it, MYA Museum is opening its door to show African and African American movies. We want people to appreciate that there were African American filmmakers as far back as the early 1900s. We want people to see films that were written, produced, directed by African Americans. That there were actors, dancers, singers, musicians, and a film crew, all black presenting films for African American people. We also want to show the diversity of films by introducing people to films made in various countries in Africa.

Stay tuned for the next update.

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