Friends of the Ritz Membership Drive Kicks Off – Officially

This year, the historic Ritz Theatre is celebrating its 80th anniversary and as part of the celebrations, the Friends of the Ritz will be throwing a party they’re calling the 80 for 80 Celebration.

“And we already have our sights set on our first official fundraiser on October 18, which will celebrate the 80th year of the theatre’s existance,” Friends of the Ritz president Keith Kozick said. “It will feature a showing of The Wizard of Oz, which came out the same year the theatre was built. So, it should be a really good time.”

Events kick off at 5:30p with an onstage children’s performance of your favorite Wizard of Oz songs, followed by a celebration of the Historic Ritz Theatre, complete with birthday cake.

Then, UGA Film Studies professor Richard Neupert will explain why The Wizard of Oz is considered one of the most import films in the history of cinema, followed by the screening of the movie at 7 PM.

There will also be tours of the Ritz now that all of the renovations have been completed, and a birthday cake for visitors to enjoy.

Additionally, Kozicki said a special reception will be held in the Green Room of the Ritz for all 80 for 80 Celebration donors prior to the showing of The Wizard of Oz.

The 80 for 80 Celebration is the first official fundraiser for the Friends of the Ritz, which recently received its tax-exempt status from the IRS.  Their goal is to have a minimum of 80 donors who contribute $80 each towards the event.

Kozicki said you can support the Ritz in a number of ways, either by becoming a member of Friends of the Ritz or by simply making a donation.

“They’ll be able to donate live on our web site, or they can fill out a form and mail it in with a check and donate that way. We’re trying to make it as easy as possible,” he said.

All donations, Kozicki reminds, are now tax-deductible.

General admission tickets for the 80 for 80 Celebration are currently available to the public online at $10 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under.

Tickets for the fundraising event can be purchased through the Historic Ritz Theatre website at Wizard of Oz and will be available at the Toccoa Welcome Center in early September.