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Ritz effort races toward Yam Fest

A “before” view of the old Ritz Theater from the rear. “After” photos are coming soon. (Deuce Niven photo)

By DEUCE NIVEN

    Despite some minor delays, work on Phase 1 of the Ritz Theatre renovation/transformation project should be finished in time for the North Carolina Yam Festival on Oct. 27, Tabor City Promotions Director Dianne Nobles Ward says.
    Some significant work is complete, including:
•    Painting of the Hickman Road facade is complete
•    Jagged edges on the brick wall at the rear of the building have been cut away, leaving the shell evenly cut on both sides
•    Plumbing has been laid for restrooms, galley kitchen and storage room
•    Concrete flooring has been poured
    Front windows on the facade are scheduled for replacement by this week, interior beams will be painted, and the metal building going up in the shell’s interior is scheduled to arrive this week, Nobles said.
    Contractors expect to have the metal building erected within the next two weeks, Ward said.
    “We still think we’re on track to have the work finished before the Yam Festival,” Ward said. “It may be close, but we think it will happen.”

Support
     Donations for the Ritz Challenge are still being accepted and the sale of commemorative bricks to be placed inside the new facility are ongoing, Ward said. Those funds will support Phase 2 of the project, finishing the interior space and giving Tabor City a new, downtown space for meetings, banquets, receptions and other special events.
    Artist renditions of the finished project are on display now at the Tabor City Visitor Center, located on East 5th Street at Old Stake Road, and open for public viewing.
    Brick sales contributions will be convenient during the Yam Festival, with an information and sales booth to be located at the registration area of the All Tabor Reunion at the former Tabor City High School (Tabor City Elementary School).
    To make a Ritz Challenge donation, contact Ward at the Tabor City Visitor Center.
    To purchase Ritz pavers, $30 each or two for $50, contact Greater Tabor City Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Cynthia Nelson or Ward, at the Visitor Center.

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