Escondido, CA

Christian Youth Theater to call Ritz Theater home

Artist’s conception of what the Grand Project will look like when completed.

The North County Inland chapter of Christian Youth Theater (CYT) will soon call the Ritz theater home. 

The announcement was made this week by CYT and New Vintage Church and The Grand Project, which is the rebirth of the old Ritz theater. 

The NCI branch of CYT serves the Escondido community and adjacent inland areas. Christian Youth Theater (CYT) has branches across the country training thousands of students a year. The flagship San Diego branch was founded in 1980 and has 6 local chapters including North County Inland (NCI). 

CYT NCI opened in 1986, providing after-school classes in theater arts education to kids ages 4-18. Additionally, students can audition and participate in a Broadway-style musical. 

“CYT has earned their national reputation as a premier youth theater organization that values building character in kids and teens. That aligns perfectly with New Vintage Church’s mission, and makes our partnership at the Grand a natural fit,” said Pastor Tim Spivey. “Bringing CYT to the Grand will infuse our downtown with new people and continue to enhance the reputation of Grand Avenue as a cultural district.” 

The Grand Project, imagined and realized by New Vintage Church and its Pastor Tim Spivey, is completely renovating the historic albeit neglected Ritz Theater. Complete with a coffee house on the adjacent corner, a Black Box theater, dance studios, meeting rooms, and a 3rd floor rooftop lounge, the design will be in keeping with the original art deco stylings from 1938 when the theater was built. 

“Having a theater to call home is a dream come true and the location of the Ritz in the heart of downtown Escondido is ideal” said CYT NCI Chapter Coordinator Chaunsa Oyos. “CYT’s culture of community blends well with the lovely people at New Vintage Church. The partnership is a great match. We are delighted and grateful for the opportunity to work in this amazing new venue.” 

The adjacent building will house Manzanita Coffee House on the bottom floor, with offices and meeting rooms on the 1st and 2nd floor. The 3rd floor tops it all off with a rooftop lounge and a great view of the City of Escondido. 

For more information on CYT visit or follow on Instagram @cytsandiego . For information specific to the NCI Chapter please contact Chaunsa Oyos at  For more information on New Vintage Church, visit

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