Bay Street Cinema

Bay Street,
Bellingham, WA 98225

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In 1975, Movie buff improves entertainment by Gary Johnson.

Did you know that Stan Laurel wrote the original scripts for Laurel and Hardy movies? That W.C. Fields was an excellent juggler? And that Bella Lugosi was really born in Transylvania? Mike Copner, new owner of the Bay St. Cinema in Bellingham, is an endless storehouse of old time movietrivia. Copner has been an old time movie buff for as long as he can remember. “I saw "The Raven” starring Bella Lugosi when I was about eight years old. It scared the hell out of me". He was 16 years old when he bought his first movie for $60:“Wide Open Faces” starring Joe E. Brown, famous for his big mouth. Copner now owns about 75 old movies, 25 feature length and 50 shorts. His favorite movies are comedies and horror pictures and the majority of films he owns are by Bella Lugosi and comedian Harry Langdon. Langdon is not as well known as Charlie Chaplin, but at the highlight of his career (1924-26) Langdon was considered to be a superior comedian to Chaplin.

Plans are to have a Movie Buff evening said Mike Copner, new owner of the Bay St. Cinema. A Lugosi film festival around Halloween and a Langdon film festival sometime this year. Since Copner took over the Bay St. Cinema two weeks ago, the theater has undergone dramatic changes. The butt-busting folding chairs have been replaced with 87 cushioned chairs. The cardboard screen has been replaced with a professional screen and the acoustics are noticeably better. The prices are cheaper too. Student rates are $1.00 for evening performances seven days a week. The evening performances include a classic feature film and usually two* short films. Weekend matinees are only 50 cents for students. Copner attributes the renewed interest in older films to the expertise of the entertainers themselves. “People are going back to the older film stars because they really knew how to entertain”.

Contributed by David DeCoteau
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