The Majestic Metro is Houston's most unique gathering site
for hosting wonderful wedding receptions, parties, and galas.
Located in the heart of the downtown historic district,
this historic facility features a large dance floor, banquet
style seating, and a state-of-the -art sound and light system.
However, in the beginning, there was no Majestic Metro.
There was simply the Ritz...
The Majestic Metro
auditorium transformed for a gala dinner event.
Photo courtesy Clare Lagroue
Of all of Houstons theatres built before 1930, only
one has remained standing to see new life and restoration:
the 1926 Ritz.
The Ritz was owned by sisters Stella and Lillian Scanlan,
daughters of Thomas Scanlan. Its grand opening was held
on April 15, 1926, with the Buck Jones feature, The
Fighting Buckaroo. Unlike the massive excesses of
the nearby Majestic, the Ritz was an ornate but intimate
theatre, with a seating capacity of 1,260. A very affordable
admission of 5 cents and 15 cents would remain in place
through the thirties, eventually to be proudly displayed
in bright lights on the exterior marquee.
In 1930, it was taken over by local theatreman Will Horwitz,
and an alliance later formed with the Interstate Theatre
chain. During the early forties, the Ritz Theatre ran Spanish
language films, eventually changing its name to the Teatro
Ritz and later the Cine Ritz.
In the seventies, the Ritz switched to exploitation, under
the guiding hand of Alvin Guggenheim, who had previously
reopened the old Lincoln Theatre as the Majestic in 1972.
At this time, the theatres name was officially changed
to the Majestic Metro, in tribute to the Interstate theatre
he ushered at in the forties.
The theatre finally closed its doors in 1984.
In 1985, businessman Gary Warwick acquired the building
and laid out a restoration plan, although the work was pushed
back due to the flat economy of the times. Eventually, the
restoration took place.
The Majestic Metro reopened on December 15, 1990, with
the Merrill Lynch Christmas party, and the American Institute
of Architects awards gala on January 31, 1991. This was
followed by a party for Page Parkes School of Modeling,
staged as part 1920s elegance and part 1980s
MTV. A highlight to the evening was an old newsreel, located
by Warwick, of 1930s models in swimsuits and fur coats.
It was the first time in years that the old Ritz screen
glowed with an image not containing hot, steamy sex or a
karate chop to the chest.
To date, the former Ritz Theatre functions as a venue for
special events, and is one of a handful of buildings in
the Old Market Square district to have survived. Intimate,
but opulent, the former silent movie house managed to attain
what the grand palaces were unable to grasp: a new lease
For more information check out the Majestic Metro website