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Only in Arkansas: The Ritz Theatre

As the entertainment industry continues to take leaps forward in technology, small-town businesses often suffer under the pressure to keep up. One small-town place in Malvern, however, is sticking with the times while still holding on to its roots.
MALVERN, AR - On the outside it has the look of everything you'd expect from a 1930s theatre, but inside you won't find any reels or tape.

"This year we will celebrate our 75th anniversary," explained Marla Nix, owner of the Ritz Theatre in Malvern. "This was the first theater in the south that actually had air conditioning."

Rich in history, the theatre still provides its community with high quality digital projection movies.

"Several out-of-town people come because it is a better quality of picture," Nix said.

They even have 3D movies.

Nix and her husband Marty bought the theatre in 1991, but Nix started working at the Ritz when she was only 16.

When keeping it opened was threatened by a new owner unwilling to renovate, Nix and her husband stepped up and bought it.

"I just couldn't bare to see the theater go away," she remarked. "And [it's] special in a lot of people's hearts in this community."

It was a staple to the community then and still is today.

Everything from someone's first date, their first kiss to even secret makeouts in the "Cry Room," are reasons Nix couldn't imagine Malvern without The Ritz Theatre.

"No matter what happens at any point the show must go on," Nix says.

Click here for more information, including showtimes at The Ritz Theatre.
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