Bailey Theatre

18 N. Front Street,
Wilmington, NC 28401

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Stewart and Everett

Architects: Erle G. Stillwell

Styles: Art Deco

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News About This Theater

Bailey Theatre

The Bailey Theatre was opened on December 23, 1940. It was closed in 1980. Only the Art Deco style facade of this theatre remains.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

audriekeen on December 30, 2007 at 1:28 pm

This was my great grandfather’s theatre. He was George W. Bailey. He died just before it opened. It was mangaed by my grandparents – Murchison and Audrienne Autry. Murchison died in 1964 and Audrienne died in 1990. I am sickened that it was demolished – to me it was a family history sight.

raysson on August 30, 2008 at 2:55 pm

Owned and operated by Stewart & Everett Theatre chain which also owned and operated Independence Mall Cinemas, Long Leaf Twin, and the Oleander Triple Theatres,not to mention another historical theatre as well,the Manor Theatre in Downtown Wilmington.

authjw on August 31, 2008 at 8:54 am

Here is a recent photo of the facade. Also, here is a photo of the ruined terrazzo entry.

atmos on March 13, 2010 at 4:35 am

This theatre opened 23 December 1940 and the architect was Erle G Stillwell.

raysson on August 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Steven Spielburg’s 1975 blockbuster JAWS played to capacity crowds at the Bailey Theatre on June 20, 1975.

Also to point out too….but the mid-to-late 1970’s,the venue changed from showing first-run features to a variety of either blaxploitation,kung-fu flicks,and some adult flicks before it closed its doors forever in 1980.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 13, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Sad . One of Erle Stillwell designs..Have a picture from Stillwell’s Collection, “POT O'GOLD"on the Marquee,Big Air Condition banner hanging in front.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm


Patsy on January 18, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Such a shame that only a facade exists though the citizens tried to save the theatre.

Starshine1958 on January 22, 2018 at 5:07 pm

I understand it is completely gone. I’m a 1958 grad of NHHS—along with Roman Gabriel. It has saddened all of us who love Wilmington so much to see outsiders have come in with greedy hands; torn down so many buildings with beautiful facades as well as gorgeous homes.

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