The City of New Port Richey was formally chartered on October 24, 1924. Despite being small when it was created, the potential for this little city did not go unnoticed for long.
In 1926, silent film star Thomas Meighan had discovered New Port Richey and proudly told everyone it was is “favorite little town in Florida.” This kind of endorsement led to more interest in the town, from Meighan’s friends, and beyond. Many in town felt that Meighan’s impact on the town could be substantial so a group of local investors that were building a theatre here decided to name it after him, calling it The Meighan Theatre. Other silent film stars and important people in
Hollywood took notice and visited the town as well. All was prosperous until the Great Depression, which virtually stopped all investment in the town.
Over the past ninety years, New Port Richey has struggled to find its identity. Just thirty miles north of Tampa and St. Petersburg, the town has become a type of “bedroom community” to the larger cities. Though it has struggled, today the town is on the cusp of revitalization and has come to life with retail establishments and restaurants, all while maintaining that “small town feel.”
Today, with a population just over 15,000, New Port Richey encompasses approximately 4.6 square miles and continues to be recognized for its unique riverfront and its rich cultural heritage.