ESCONDIDO, Calif.—Built in 1937, the Ritz Cinema, located on Grand Avneue in Escondido will soon get a facelift. The building has been closed for more than a decade. The owner Janie McGuire is working with the City of Escondido and the Downtown Business Association to transform the historical gem into the Ritz Caberet Dinner Theater. The plan is to combine cinema, performance and culinary arts.
Long time resident Wes Thorton says he has a lot of memories inside the theater. His most memorable experience is watching "The Mummy Returns" on the big screen in 1944.
The Downtown Business Association Chief Executive, Thora Guthrie says the change would bring new energy to the downtown.
"She is proposing a martini bar and it could also have dancing," said Guthrie. "It's a very special project that we think will revitalize the whole down town.
There would also be lofts on the top floor, retail and parking on the street level. The plan is to blend the old with the new. The next step is to get the City's approval which is expected in the next coming months.