Beekay Theatre

108 S. Green Street,
Tehachapi, CA 93561

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Built in 1932 by two former mayors of Tehachapi, the Beekay Theatre provided entertainment for the then sleepy small town. The 312 seat theatre boasted the first neon sign in Tehachapi which graced an attractive poured concrete facade of flutted columns and coffered panels.

The decor was simple and spare, utilitarian in its simplicity. All that was important was the show on the screen. The screen went dark in the late-1970’s. The theatre lost its marquee with a renovation that also clad the Deco style facade in a Victorian false front. The building was used as a mall then became the Moose Hall.

The theatre building burned in 1997. The fire exposed the forgotten facade and got the citizens and city officials to thinking…hmmm, what to do with it? Thankfully, the City of Tehachapi in partnership with Tehachapi Community Theater then set about the process of reconstructing the lost theater as a new home for the popular local theater troup.

The Beekay Theatre was ready for its close-up on December 6, 2008 after a massive renovation to the plans of architect Kevin Haub. The theatre was rebuilt as a live theatre venue and it now seats up to 120. The first play to be presented was “Oliver!” followed by “Catfish Moon”, Nuts" and “Sugar Bean Sisters”. 2009, saw the community theater’s 40th anniversary and the city’s 100th birthday!!

Contributed by davidreed

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

davidreed
davidreed on October 17, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Tehachapi City Council has directed staff to put the building out to bid.The Facade is to be retained and restored to its 1936 glory. A replica of the Marquee is being planned and the color scheme and Neon looks to be a close match to what was original to the theatre.The community theater is currently working on a budget to finish the interior and by early estimates looks to have about half the needed funds before they even begin thier fund rasing campain! More to come in the future…

davidreed
davidreed on February 13, 2008 at 10:09 pm

The City of Tehacapi has awarded the bid of $599,998 to Bowie const. of Tehachapi.Projected completion of the project will be Nov of 2008.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 13, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Please turn your attention to item number eleven on the agenda:
http://tinyurl.com/ywk89l

davidreed
davidreed on July 15, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Success!! The New walls are being raised today!!! Completion of the Beekay Theatre is slated for late Fall 2008!! Tehachapi Community Theater will open thier new home ( 40 years in the making!!!) with a production of Oliver! I'ts an exciting time for the Citizens of Tehachapi, A long held Dream is now being relized.

davidreed
davidreed on August 7, 2008 at 6:42 pm

The Theatre re-construction continues- the roof has been completed and the new HVAC is being installed. The restoration of the Original Facade is underway! The contractors have stated “that this will be a diffrent building at the end of next week.” the electrical will be complete which will allow for drywall and plaster to begin. Completion has been moved to late September, early October 2008

davidreed
davidreed on August 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Update: Today the BeeKay Gets its Interior!!! The drywall and plaster are going up today. The Theatre is taking shape quickly even with a few delays to re-think elements of the design.Tehachapi Community Theatre(TCT) has recieved another round of contributions getting us within around Twelve thousand dollars closer to Our sixty thousand dollar goal. The interior will be considerably more elegant than the rather sparten beginnings of the theater. Chandeliers,carpet a mutti-hued color scheme, fine tile all in the Art Deco mode will complete the look. The Facade of the theater cleaned-up well and will recieve its paint scheme… Exciting times!!

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 3, 2010 at 1:58 am

Thats good news showman.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 3, 2010 at 2:20 am

The intro for the Bekay currently says it opened in 1932. All the periodical references to its construction in the California Index (citing Southwest Builder & Contractor, and Motion Picture Herald) say it dates from 1936.

Frank Baumgart and Louis Kanstein were the owners. The reinforced concrete structure was built by local contractors Art Lange and Joe Fowles. There was apparently no architect, but Southwest Builder and Contractor of July 11, 1936, gave the name of the engineer as F.O. Reyenga of Los Angeles.

Baumgart and Kanstein sold the Beekay to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Nelson in 1954, according to Boxoffice of October 12 that year.

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