On June 29th, 1973, Hawley's Ritz Company Playhouse, once a movie and vaudeville theatre, opened its curtains for the first time with the musical production "Brigadoon". Ever since then the Ritz Players, a group of volunteer community theatre enthusiasts,who have dedicated themselves to delivering good entertainment to the community, by offering LIVE theatre productions in the Hawley/Lake Wallenpaupack area. Their efforts have been successful and the theatre is now entered its thirty fifth year. With your continued support we hope to provide quality entertainment for many years to come.The Ritz Players have become more then a theatre company, they have grown into a true family, bringing together people of all ages, all professions, interests and backgrounds. Indeed, the audience too, is included in that family as season after season, faithful fans return to buy tickets and encourage the company's efforts through their applause.Over the years a number of our performance have gone on to study theatre, dance,music, and film arts at colleges and dramatic schools. Many of them may yet find their fame in these professions.
While fostering local talent and entertaining residents and visitors, the Ritz Theatre has helped promote a number of different relationships within the community. The Ritz Theatre worked with a number of local organizations and businesses, such as Hawley's Women's Club, Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, The Settler's Inn, and Ehrhardt's Waterfront Restaurant to establish a number of different evening packages including a train/theatre trip and dinner & theatre arrangements. Other non-profit organizations have also been able to arrange fund raising events using the theatre events as well. Local, regional and national groups have helped broaden the Ritz program schedules to include musical concerts, barbershop quartets, Old Time Fiddlers, dance groups, ballet companies, college theatre companies and children's magic shows. Internationally known authors have also made presentations on the Ritz stage.On May 8th, 1980 the Ritz Theatre was presented an award of excellence for tourist promotion. The award exemplifies excellence not only in serving the local community but also in providing a noteworthy tourist attraction for the Pocono Region. This recognition gave the theatre and its players a great boost to keep going. Additionally the theatre and some of its members have won Northeast Pennsylvania Theatre Association (NEPTA) awards for excellence in the performing arts over the past few years.