When I went to the Ritz last, I approached from 7th street and noticed a side to that building I had never seen before: The backside. Well, maybe I had seen it, but I sure as hell hadn't noticed it. I guess that now it is an Alamo, I'm paying more attention to the building.
So since it was “new” to me, I decided to take some pics. And what you see in the pic posted here is going to be gone anyway: Tim told me those two billboards are coming down tomorrow. There are no design plans for the rear. The same goes for the front of the Ritz. Well, it would be more accurate to say there are no re-design plans for the front. The plans are to leave the front as is, except replace the tile entrance with something close to what was there originally. There will also be an Alamo Drafthouse sign above the door. The big Ritz neon sign and facade and brick building face will remain the same.
What about the interior? Well, there’s some good news and some bad news there.
First, the bad news: Upon visiting the site throughout the week, I was struck by the fact that plumbing was the only thing going on. There’s a reason for this. According to Tim, the project is about two weeks behind where he’d like to be right now. As it is, the plumbing is on schedule, but the delay has happened because some engineering designs fell behind schedule. These designs are needed before the new concrete foundations can be poured which are necessary before any of the steel interior structures can be built.
Now, for the good news: Tim is optimistic that any lost time can be regained. As he put it, “We can catch up.” But for right now there are just a bunch of ditches with a pipes in them. Hopefully concrete will begin to pour this week.
Fun fact: Remember Hoek’s pizza window? Well, the Drafthouse will be selling pizza, and perhaps some other Alamo goodness, out of that very same window.
More photos of the Ritz project can be found in these Flickr photo sets:
Alamo @ the Ritz
Ritz Construction Photos