Originally built in 1936, the Martin Theatre first opened it's door as the "Ritz". Owned by the Columbus, GA based company, this Cinema was one of a chain of movie houses that covered Georgia, Alabama and NW Florida. Early memories boast visits by such notables as Clark Gable, Constance Bennett, Michael O'Shea, William Boyd, and cowboy great Bill Elliot.
In the early 50's the Ritz chain was bought and renovated by the Martin family. The original marquee was replaced with the one now gracing the facade of the building and the cinema operated as the Martin Theatre until 1978.
Left vacant and deteriorating, the theatre was operated as a short time as a shooting gallery. In 1987 the Panama City Downtown Improvement Board - H. Mack Lewis, Chairman, bought the vacant building. The DIB, with funding from the State, completely renovated the facility, turning it into the state-of-art facility that we have today.
The Martin Theatre opened it's doors for the second time in November of 1990 with a staff of one. Since that time we have added the Greenroom, a 1500 square foot reception and meeting room, along with wing space and restrooms, two full time staff members and a host of volunteers, all with one goal... to serve our community as best we can.