News Article

ASU Three Rivers Receives $1.3 Million Grant from Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council for Ritz Renovation


MALVERN, Ark. – Arkansas State University Three Rivers received a grant of $1.3 million from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council (ANCRC) at its meeting on May 22. The grant will be used to begin Phase V of the Historic Ritz Theatre Restoration and the addition of a Conference Center next door to the theater.

The council distributed $43.9 million to more than 40 projects that will restore and protect state-owned lands and property.

“We are extremely appreciative to ANCRC for their help through the first four Phases and with Phase V funding, we will be able to complete the restoration and open the theatre for business by 2025,” Chancellor Steve Rook stated.  

In Phases III and IV, progress includes the lobby being torn out and completely restored, the restrooms revamped, and furniture, fixtures and interior finishes will be added during the summer. Additionally, Phase IV funded the purchase of the former TV repair shop next door as well as cleaning out the interior of the building.

Significant elements of Phase V include transitioning the TV repair shop into the Ritz Conference Center --additional lobby space and reception area, additional bathrooms for use by theater patrons, a multi-purpose green room that will double as a meeting and gathering space, and conference/meeting rooms.  Entryways will be added to the front and rear the theater and the Conference Center.

In addition to completely revamping the television repair shop during Phase V, the College also received funding to complete the Ritz Theatre AV and theater lighting and to purchase the building next door at 219 South Main Street.

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