Ritz Theaters movie mag is back!

The Ritz Film Bill, a free magazine for patrons of the Ritz theaters, folded two years ago. New publishers have brought back the concept, redubbed Ritz Film Magazine. It debuts Friday.

George Clooney, looking pensive on the Hawaiian sands, is there on the cover (a shot from Alexander Payne’s destined-for-Oscars new  film, The Descendants.) Inside, there’s an “Ask Ritz Film Magazine” column by local filmmaker and film maven Andrew Repasky McElhinney, aka “the Movie Doctor,” that gives readers the chance to learn about the origins of films, about casting news, about soundtracks, about the best Christmas movies – basically any question you want answered, and that McElhinney feels like answering. There’s also an interview with Happy, Happy director Anne Sewitsky, a round-up of local eateries and shops,  essays from area notables about their fondest Ritz memories,  and, of course, pages of programming info about the films currently on screen and coming soon.

Since the Ritz Film Bill went away, Ritz goers – me included – have been at a complete loss as to what to do in the seemingly endless 5 to 15 minutes before the movie starts. Finally, some good reading matter! Kudos to publisher Lisa H. Rafter and her crew.