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
Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?
If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.
Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.
This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.