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The Ritz: 1940

The Ritz: 1940

August 1940. "Street in Coaldale, Pennsylvania." Medium format acetate negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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A&P and The Ritz

My grandmother always called the A&P the tea store and I still think of it that way. And I'll bet that theater saw a whole lot of business in its time. That's what we did just as often as possible, go to the movies!!

A&P in New England

On Martha's Vineyard, there's a storefront with "A&P" done in tiles, embedded in the cement of the front step. There hasn't been an A&P on the island since 2003, but the store in Oak Bluffs dates from the 1930s. Looks like A&P got sucked up by a European conglomerate. I remember going to A&P with my mum in the 60s, and then they just kind of faded away.


I did a little poking around, and the shorthand A&P was on some branded products as early as 1885. There were many print ads that had "A&P" in them from at least the teens. So, it was very common and it's safe to assume that it was common 20 years later.

It was a very big deal in our family when my mom stopped going to "Gateway" supermarket and switched to the A&P! All those famous brands were like we joined a larger culture. They hung in there a surprisingly long time -- 1859 to 2016 is a pretty good run.

The Ritz Burned Down (Of Course)

A pretty good website with newspaper articles on the 1948 demise of the Ritz is here:

The moderne successor to the Ritz was built in 1949, and is still showing movies.

Putting On The Ritz

Dapper guy with the smoke far right doesn't look like he's spent much time working that coal mine in the background.


Good Morning! Some of my earliest memories (I'm 71 now) involve smelling the 8 O'Clock Coffee grinder in the A&P store in New Freedom (York County) Pa. I'm sipping a mug of 8 O'Clock as I write this: hooked for life.

That's the Ritz?

You're putting me on!

Lansford is the next town over.

I lived there until the age of 7 or so. Both towns are a stones throw from Mauch Chunk. Never knew Coaldale had an A&P, much less The Ritz. The old anthracite patch was booming on the eve of war.

Let them eat cake

For 25 cents, how can anyone pass it up? For an additional 35 cents, they can even butter it.

A Store By Any Other Name.

I wonder how many people know that the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, (store at right of the Ritz), is really know to most of us poor schleps just as the A&P.

117 Second Street

Yep, you guessed it:

Destroyed by fire in the 1940s.


The were probably known as the A&P a long time before they labeled their stores that way.

A Store By Any Other Name.

I wonder how many people know that the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, (store at right of the Ritz), is really know to most of us poor schleps just as the A&P.

Gone a few years later

Ritz Theatre
117 Second Street, Coaldale, PA 18218

Permanently Closed, Demolished 1947-48
1 screen 250 seats

One of the few places overlooked by Google Street View it seems.

Future A&P

The "Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co." became the A&P grocery chain that was the biggest store chain of its day. It went out of business in 2015 after 156 years.


I spent several of my teenage years stocking and bagging at a Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company store in Jacksonville. I was pretty good at it. Half a century later I still take time to instruct the baggers at the local Kroger's when they try to squish my bread. And I still reach for goods at the back of the shelf, since every good stocker knows to rotate the stock so the older stuff in toward the front.

New Moon

With Jeanette MacDonald as Marianne de Beaumanoir and Nelson Eddy as Charles (Henri), Duc de Villiers. Gallic galore!

All This, and Heaven Too

With Bette Davis as Henriette Deluzy-Desportes and Charles Boyer as Charles, Duke de Praslin. (Imagine trying to say that after a couple of glasses of wine.)

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