Bay Theatre

420 Main Street West,
Ashland, WI 54806

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Bay Theatre

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The Art Moderne style Bay Theatre, located on Main Street at Fourth Avenue is situated not far from Chequamegon Bay, for which it is named. The once single-screen Bay, which originally seated 650, has since been divided into four auditoriums, but still remains in operation as a first-run movie house. It also still retains its spectacular Moderne-style marquee and vertical sign which dominates the facade of the otherwise nondescript two-story building.

The 1998 film, “A Simple Plan”, was filmed around Ashland and the surrounding area, and had its premiere at the Bay Theatre. The theater is also featured in a 1991 painting by Davis Cone, which can be viewed in the book, “Popcorn Palaces”.

In 2007, two additional screens were made from adjoining buildings.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

packer
packer on December 9, 2007 at 9:23 pm

The Bay Theater is actually a 6 Plex now. I just discovered this theatre this month while in Ashland on business. They expanded into 2 neighboring buildings. I hope to see a movied there this week. Love the old theatres! Especially ones like this on Main Stree in a historic downtown. I have current pics, if anyone is interested

QUIXOTE
QUIXOTE on January 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm

When I was a student at Northland College (mid 1970s) the Bay saved my sanity MANY a time! It was the ONLY source of first run stuff east of Duluth.

Among first runs I saw there… THE EXORCIST THE GODFATHER THE GREAT WALDO PEPPER BATTLE OF BRITAIN (tho that one was really a re-release) GONE WITH THE WIND (ditto, obviously).

For a Chicago city kid stuck in the Nort Woods for the first time, the Bay was like a lifeboat!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 27, 2009 at 9:24 pm

I have a copy of the Davis Cone book, He is from Augusta,Ga. and grew up in the same movie houses he did. A great artist and book.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 27, 2009 at 9:25 pm

I have a copy of the Davis Cone book, He is from Augusta,Ga. and grew up in the same movie houses he did. A great artist and book.

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