The Ritz was just a single-screen cinema at the time but they added another three screens in 1997 and two more in 2001.
Mr Tamir now wants to add three more screens to show a wider range of films, including more low-budget Australian releases, documentaries, festival screenings and retro titles on 35mm as well as mainstream movies.
He will not touch the historic main cinema but said there were «all sorts of nooks and crannies in the Ritz» that would allow more screens to be added.
The first plan is for «a micro outdoor cinema using headphones» that will operate over the summer months.
Mr Tamir said he would continue one of the Ritz’s biggest attractions — member tickets for $10.
«I’m a bit of a sucker,» he said. «I hear the siren call of old cinemas …
«The eccentric philosophy is to hold on to and highlight whatever is special about the history of the building and have a contemporary edge to everything else including the sound and the vision, the food-and-drink offers and the range of films we show.»
Built in 1937, the Ritz dates back to a grander time for the city’s picture palaces before their numbers began dwindling when television arrived in 1956.
In Melbourne, the Tamir family owns The Classic in Elsternwick, Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn and Cameo Cinemas in Belgrave as well as the Jewish International Film Festival and Children’s International Film Festival.
Both the Lido (on the roof) and the Cameo (on a grassy slope) have outdoor cinemas during warmer months.
Mr Tamir is confident the cinema business will continue to be profitable despite competition from streaming services and other forms of entertainment.
«Cinema has been dying for about 70 years and we hope it continues to die for another 70 years,» he said.
For Mrs Katehos, it has been an emotional week finishing at the Ritz.
«It’s time to have a bit of a break,» she said. «It’s a lot of work in a business where you have to constantly reinvent yourself because things are constantly changing.
«In the early days, you just put an ad in the paper and sold a ticket. Now you’ve got to spend a lot of time and effort marketing and creating events.»
Mrs Katehos said the last two years had been strong for the cinema.
«Bohemian Rhapsody has been huge for us and A Star Is Born,» she said. «And it’s not just box office. The bar has added a lot to our bottom line.»
Garry Maddox is a Senior Writer for The Sydney Morning Herald.