Milan’s Ritz Cinema was built in 1941 at a time when the arsenal was going full time around the clock due to the war. When the Ritz was built, it only had one large screen.
At this time there were 2 movie theaters in Milan. The original theater, the Milan Theater, was across the street and south of the Ritz. Both theaters showed movies until the war was over and the arsenal cut back.
One older gentleman recalled working for the Ritz when he was in his early teens. He said he had to stand outside in the street with a cart popping the popcorn.
The first advertisement in the Milan Exchange was on June 19, 1941. “Time out for Rhythm” played on Mon and Tues; Jackie Cooper and Jane Withers in “Her First Beau” played Wednesday and Irene Dunne and Cary Grant in “Penny Serenade” rounded out opening weekend for “West TN’s newest and most beautiful theater”. Ticket prices were $0.25.