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Bay Theatre

15140 Sunset Blvd. Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles), CA 90272
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Opened: The Bay Theatre opened in 1949 with "The Paleface" starring Bob Hope and Jane Russell. The opening night photo is on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection. The photographer is not identified.

Architect: S. Charles Lee

Seating: 1,100, with 80 of those upstairs in a loge section originally. The theatre got twinned in 1972. After the twinning, each side had 400 seats.

Status: It closed September 10, 1978. The theatre was gutted -- the building is now used as a store by Norris Hardware.

The News: Developer Rick Caruso is planning a new 5 screen theatre as part of his Pacific Palisades development. Details are at the bottom of the page.



In the lobby looking toward the exit doors. It's a Jerry Schwartz photo on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.



Another lobby view with the snackbar and mural. It's a Julius Shulman photo on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.



A mural detail.  It's a Jerry Schwartz photo on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.
 


The upper foyer mural. It's a Jerry Schwartz photo on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.
 


The entrance to the ladies lounge upstairs. It's a Julius Shulman photo on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.



A look toward the screen by Julius Schulman. It's on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.

Also in the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection: Lee on construction site | Lee on opening night | an early exterior rendering |
 


The Bay on opening night in 1949 in a photo from the Pacific Palisades Historical Society on the website of the Santa Monica Public Library.  Also see their photo of Esther Williams selling tickets at the opening.



A daytime view of the Bay with its opening attraction "The Paleface" on the marquee. It's part of a post by David Doherty that appeared on the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page. The photo also appears on Cinema Treasures.



A 1949 view of the theatre by Julius Shulman in the collection of the Getty Research Institute. They have it indexed as his Shulman job #518.  Also on the Getty site see their list of more Shulman photos and a page of Julius Shulman Resources.

Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Hoss C for finding the photo in the Getty collection. He featured it, along with other views of the theatre, in his Noirish post #31559.



Thanks to Bill Gabel for this colorful look at the facade. It was a contribution of his to the Cinema Treasures page about the Bay.
 


The Bay Theatre in 1953 running "The Fighting Kentuckian." The photo, from the Pacific Palisades Historical Society, is in the Santa Monica Public Library collection.



A 1962 look toward the Bay (on the right) as we cruise east on Sunset. It's a Terry Sullivan photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



A 1969 Bay Theatre shot from the collection of Janet Betts Dean. It was a post on the Pacific Palisades Remember When Facebook page.



The Bay Theatre on the back cover of the 1978 Palisades High Yearbook. The image was a post by Lisa Kurtz Sutton on the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page. Thanks, Lisa!



The view west on Sunset Blvd. with what's left of the Bay Theatre on the left. Photo: Google Maps - 2011

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Bay for lots of tales by moviegoers who miss it.

The new Bay Theatre: Shopping center developer Rick Caruso (the Grove, Americana at Brand) has big plans to redevelop the Pacific Palisades business district, including a new Bay Theatre building. His 2014 rendering included a riff on an early design by S. Charles Lee. The building he's planning is not a restoration of the theatre -- this would be in a different location in the Palisades business district.



A view toward a new Bay Theatre as envisioned in the plan. Caruso says it'll be "how you remembered it, and possibly greater." Curbed L.A. had the details in a December 2014 story by Adrian Glick Kudler: "Here's the Jaw-Dropping Plan..." Caruso has a Palisades Village website up to support the project.

A June 2017 Deadline story, "Legendary Bay Theatre To Be Revived By Cinepolis USA & Real Estate Developer Rick Caruso In Palisades Village," announced details of the new Bay Theatre.



A rendering from Caruso appearing with the June 2017 Deadline article. 

The article notes: "Los Angeles real estate developer Rick Caruso announced today that exhibitor CinĂ©polis USA will be bringing the Bay Theatre back as a luxury cinema house in Caruso’s new shopping-lifestyle center Palisades Village on Swathmore Avenue, opening next summer. The newly redesigned Bay Theatre by CinĂ©polis Luxury Cinemas will feature five screening rooms each with approximately 40-60 luxury leather recliner seats, reserved seating and call buttons for full food and bar service. Lee’s marquee sign will even be resurrected." Thanks to William David French, Jr. for spotting the story.

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