July 17th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1946, the Bay Theatre had its grand opening at 5:30 p.m. with a double feature of John Payne and Maureen O’ Hara in “Sentimental Journey” with “Miss Susie Slagle’s,” starring Sonny Tufts and Veronica Lake. (If you’re feeling like throwing a commemorative Bay Theatre grand opening party, both films can be seen free in their entirety on YouTube.)

This double feature was replaced on July 19 by a double feature of “The Road to Utopia,” starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope with “Bell of Rosarita,” starring Tigger and Roy Rogers.

This double feature was replaced on July 21 by “Tomorrow Is Forever” starring Claudette Colbert, George Brent, and Orson Welles with Alfred Drake and Janet Blair (and a very young Sid Caesar in his feature film debut) in “Tars and Spars.” This means that the this 1946 Bay Theatre photo can be reliably dated (and aren’t we all looking for reliable dates?) to July 21 or 22 before the bill was replaced by Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman in “Saratoga Trunk” and a “selected short.”

The Bay started out as the independently owned Beach Theatre in November, 1945 and was closed on June 23, 1946 to be furbished and renamed by the new owner, the Fox West Coast theatres chain. You can get a closer look at the box office in this post for December 24, 1955.

The Bay Theatre has been closed for a few years since the death of the previous owner, but it is currently being refurbished with an expected re-re-opening later in 2019.

– Michael Dobkins

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4 Responses to July 17th in Seal Beach History

  1. Robert Black says:

    When the theater was opened I was 7 years old .My aunt Mary from the Hellman Ranch would some times take me to the movies there, she always got all dress up like she was going to church. It was a evening out. But on Saturdays I would go to the Matinee for 10 cents and meet up with my friends. Seams most of the movies were westerns and Tarzan with at least 2or 3 cartoons and a news reel. It was good being a kid in Seal Beach back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael Dobkins says:

      Thanks for sharing, Robert. It’s one thing to post an old ad from a newspaper, but someone writing about their actual experiences give the full flavor of what it was like to live in Seal Beach back in those days.


  2. Pingback: Nov 29th in Seal Beach History | This Date in Seal Beach History

  3. Pingback: November 29th in Seal Beach History | This Date in Seal Beach History

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