CLEARFIELD – Bob Knepp, current owner of The Ritz Theater of Clearfield, is selling the theater to a local couple, Mike and Meredith Reed, who have four young children.
Bob has said it’s time to retire, but it’s still a sad moment for him to let go. His favorite movies were the Batman series, especially those with Michael Keaton.
The longest-running movie, for 12 weeks, was Titanic and the highest-earner was The Passion of Christ, as the film company took a much lower percentage.
Over the years, he only closed the theater on Christmas eve, and of course, during the recent COVID pandemic. His toughest time though was when the movie industry required all theaters to use digital projectors.
But, the Save the Ritz Committee was formed and fundraised to help purchase the two projectors, and the Clearfield community supported every event, which kept the theater doors open.
Mike and Meredith Reed, who will take over Friday night, said they purchased the theater to be involved with local business and the Clearfield community.
This was an ideal purchase for them because they strongly desired to have a family-oriented and family-friendly business.
The Reed’s will make some minor cosmetic changes to the theater but will keep the movies running through the renovations, unless the construction prohibits opening for a night or two.
They will also open for some extra showings, and want community members to pitch their movie suggestions.
They understand the importance the Clearfield Community has been to the Ritz and want to continue the tradition of bringing family movies to the Clearfield area.
Dec. 3, as part of Clearfield’s holiday weekend, the Ritz will host the annual free Christmas movie on Sunday afternoon.
The Ritz Theater was built at its current site (formerly a hardware store!) in 1928 when it was sold to The Clearfield Entertainment Company, owned by the Thompson family.
Bob purchased the theater in August of 1986 from Elizabeth Thompson, who had closed the theater in June of that year. He has been the third owner of the Ritz.
Marvels will held over for another week. Moviegoers are invited to stop by the Ritz to say goodbye to Bob and welcome to Meredith and Mike.
“See you at the movies!”