Bayne Theatre

1606 Atlantic Avenue,
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 13, 2018 at 3:02 pm

The Bayne Theatre was demolished in November, 2015. Here is video posted at YouTube by the demolition company.

This article from The Virginian Pilot of December 18, 2015, has an early aerial photo of the Bayne.

backpocketblues on January 29, 2018 at 11:15 pm

Romanipat could you please contact me about your time at the bayne theater? Thank you!

Romanipat on July 14, 2015 at 4:34 pm

I may have something to add to the conversation. I was the last movie projectionist at the Bayne before it closed as a movie theatre in October of 1981. When I came aboard in May of that year, the house was incapable of keeping a show on the screen. The manager at the time interviewed me by taking me to the booth, where I noticed that the regular guy had set up the 1930’s vintage Peerless projectors to hold 60 minute reels,which are designed for flat,not vertical, operation. We lost the matinee performance of “Cannonball Run” that day, but between that show and the 6:00 showing I respliced the reels onto the vintage 20 minute reels that I found in the storage room, with leaders and tails,naturally, and we didn’t lose a viewing after that. With the house no longer having to refund the gate at every show, we actually started turning a profit, but it was too late. Plitt Southern decided to sell the building to the wax museum, and the employees were offered positions at the multiplex at Hampton Roads. I joined the Navy instead. Those xenon machines have no soul;the monkey just has to flip a switch. There was a balcony, but when I was there it wasn’t open to the public for structural reasons. In my snooping, I found an envelope with photos from the'30s of the building at its opening. I gave them to the manager, who framed them and hung them in the lobby that last summer. We really thought we could save the place, since it was a palace, but as it turns out that dream was Quixotic. Those photos were still in the lobby the evening of our farewell costume party. The theme was Movie characters. I went as Sam Spade, sporting my preemptive Navy haircut, and the concession girl I was crushing on was dressed as Marilyn. Man, what a night!

Jay_McKenna on February 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Mr. Alfred Willis, Do you have old newspaper copies (Virginian Pilot or Ledger Star) w/ box Ads for the Beach and the Bayne that you would be willing to sell? I grew up in Va Beach during the 60s and have many happy memories of the Beach and the Bayne. The Beach got the better movies, the Bayne the “B” features. The Beach was parent-approved and the Bayne was “off limits” as 16th street was the “bad section” of town. All the more fun to sneak down there. I would love to see the little Box Ads for the Beach and the Bayne from the Movie page of the Norfolk papers again. Please let me know.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on May 25, 2012 at 4:49 am



JGKlein on April 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm

I remember seeing the 1975 film “Jacqueline Susann’s Once Is Not Enough” at the Bayne Theatre. It was 1976 or ‘77, so by the mid 1970s, it was definitely a second run movie theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 16, 2011 at 3:50 am

The Bayne Theatre probably did originally open in either 1932 or 1933. Its interior was remodeled in 1965, and an article in Boxoffice of April 12 that year said that the theater was 33 years old. In 1965 the house was being operated by Crockett-Pender Theatres, which was spending $35,000 for the renovation. The Bayne was scheduled to reopen on Easter Sunday.

igorvonstrange on January 1, 2011 at 8:46 am

yes I have some photos I’ll have to dig them up and yes there was a balcony when it was in operation as a theater there was seating up there but now its really used for storage I havent ever been able to locate any photos as it was back then Ive been on the hunt for old photos for years lol i kind of have a love affair with the building and have since the first time i stepped into the building it def has a lot of charm but I’ll dig some photos up and post them soon

JackCoursey on January 1, 2011 at 7:48 am

Have you any interior photos you could post? Was there a balcony?

igorvonstrange on January 1, 2011 at 7:00 am

I still work in the building the Bayne was in,It operated as a theater until 1978 Jaws was the last movie played there,then it became the Royal London wax Museum……after that it became the time machine and today it is the pirate ghost ride……I am a maintainance man of sorts for the building and the ride and have spent Many an overnight in the building not saying its “Haunted” but it does have and energy of its own.The stage and balcony are both stil intact and I’m forever finding little treasures from the theater era everything from 33 cent tickets to film reels all empty of course……lol.any quesstions about the the theater?please feel free to ask

AlfredWillis on April 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm

The Bayne Theatre may have opened in 1933. The earliest newspaper ad that I have been able to find for it appeared in the Virginian-Pilot for 6 December 1933 (p. 8). Virgina Beach businesses and residences began to appear in the Norfolk (Va.) city directories in the 1950s. In 1957 the Bayne was listed as located at “Atlantic Ave near 17th St,” Virginia Beach. In 1958 it appeared at 1604 Atlantic Avenue. It appeared in the Virginia Beach city directories (published from 1962 onward) at 1604 Atlantic Avenue. This is a mid-block address between 16th and 17th streets but closer to 16th (the highest number on that block in the late 1950s being 1610.) 17th was a better known street because heavily commercialized; hence its mention in the theatre’s advertising. In the 1982 Virginia Beach directory it shared the 1604 Atlantic Avenue address with the Mad Tee Shirt shop. After that year the theater was no longer listed. The Bayne Theatre had closed in September 1981, according to an article of 8 January 1982 in the Virginia Beach Ledger-Star. At the time of its closure the Bayne, like the nearby Beach Theatre, was managed by Plitt Southern Theaters. I suspect that between 1981 and its conversion into the Pirate Adventures Ride the building was used for retail and never reverted to theatrical use. Ads from 1935 suggest that the Bayne’s (weekend) programming was being coordinated with that of the Roland Theatre around the corner, in a way that foreshadowed twinning.

bufffilmbuff on April 4, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Actually I think the Bayne was still in business in the 60’s as I saw SHE (with Ursula Andress) and GOODBYE COLUMBUS there.

aarfeld on August 12, 2009 at 7:12 pm

My 7-year-old son and I just rode the pirate ride through the theater yesterday. The ride’s operator didn’t know the name of the former theater, but I’m glad that now I was able to locate it. You can’t see anything of the theater’s interior from the perspective of the ride through the interior, but I would guess that it was gutted to make the ride. I wish the theater could have survived as a music venue for the flocks of tourists—then perhaps it could have been preserved more intact.

JackCoursey on July 27, 2009 at 12:40 am

Here is a 2008 photo of the former Bayne Theatre.