Bay Theatre

2044 NW Market Street,
Seattle, WA 98107

Unfavorite 6 people favorited this theater

Showing 10 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 3, 2016 at 10:19 pm

terrywade: This page is devoted to the original Bay Theatre, demolished and replaced by the Majestic Bay Theatres which opened on the same site in 2000. Click on the “Majestic Bay Theatres” link in the “Nearby Theatres” field on the right hand side of this page to open the page dedicated to the new theaters.

terrywade on May 3, 2016 at 9:22 pm

Just visited this great cinema last weekend. Great photos in the lobby and a nice candy counter. The only thing they need is to replace the white lights that shine down on the semi blue curtain and put in blue bulbs. The neon outside was great.

paulnelson on May 25, 2014 at 2:02 am

I was in the Bay only once around 1980’s. It was in bad shape then but I think it had doric or ionic columns on each side of the proscenium. It had classical lines and was a little campy but still stylish. Too bad it could not be saved but the new Majestic Bay is lovely and worth it all.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 25, 2014 at 11:40 am

This 1918 photo shows the original Majestic Theatre in the background.

I notice that the caption of the 1916 auditorium photo uploaded by CharmaineZoe says that the Majestic had a cry room. That’s the earliest instance of that particular convenience I’ve seen yet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm

The new Majestic Bay Theatre has its own Cinema Treasures page. See the earlier comment by kateymac01 on May 6, 2005, quoting the newspaper article which says that the developers were unable to save any of the original Bay Theatre because the structure was beyond salvaging. If an old theater is demolished to make way for an entirely new building on the same site, the new theater will usually get its own CT page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

A brief item in the May 7, 1949, issue of Boxoffice said that B. Marcus Priteca had been the architect for the $50,000 remodeling of the Roxy Theatre into the Bay Theatre. The seating capacity of the Bay Theatre was 465.

paulnelson on August 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

The idea of still using an elegant waterfall curtain in front of the screen should be used more often in new theatre construction. The MB does just this. It is the most beautiful new theatre in Seattle along with the Cinerama downtown. They have a nice curtain too.

William Creswell
William Creswell on July 20, 2008 at 10:50 am

The New building is actually very nice. It was built to high standards and has a classy look that tries to mimic some of the style of classic movie theaters. It’s a shame they tore down the old theater, but thankfully they put a lot of thought and care into the new one.

kateymac01 on May 6, 2005 at 2:14 pm

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Oct. 12, 2000:

“The Bay — which has been a Ballard landmark since 1915 and has laid claim to being the oldest continuously operating theater in the country — has not really been preserved.

It was so structurally deteriorated that the developers found it impossible to renovate. It’s essentially a brand-new, $5 million triplex in the same location, with all the amenities of the new millennium theaters, including stadium seating, a state-of-the-art sound system and computerized ticketing (major credit cards accepted).

But the new theater is also very much an architectural tribute to the old one and a kind of museum of the kinder, gentler moviegoing experience of the past.

Owner Ken Alhadeff told the P-I last month that his intention was to ‘build the nation’s finest neighborhood theater — a theater with a soul.’ In a sense, he’s betting on a high-touch reaction against the gigantic megaplexes that have now taken over the movie-exhibition business, to the point that the big chains now are closing down their less profitable multiplexes with only three, six or eight screens."

droben on December 5, 2004 at 12:59 am

Actually, the Bay had seating of about 300 in a very narrow space.