Bay Theatre

8 Bethune Street,
Alexandria Bay, NY 13607

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Opened on August 4, 1927 as the Weller Theatre, it was built by Mrs. Susan Weller. By 1941, it had been renamed Bay Theatre. It was a very plain, functional space with a sharpely raked floor. The last few rows were special seats, wicker, at a special prices rather than theatre seats.

During World War II there was a free admission granted if you bought a bond. The last known owners were Scalese and Gilson. The Bay Theatre was closed on Labor Day of 1964. The structure was torn down later in 1964.

I don’t believe the auditorium was air conditioned because during a summer’s day the doors were open, presumably to allow air to circulate. The space currently serves as a parking lot for a restaurant, but the theatre was levelled before the restaurant even was built.

Contributed by rvb

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

robboehm
robboehm on August 14, 2009 at 2:37 am

I happened upon this theatre by chance on a weekend pass from Ft. Drum. I was surprised by the size of the theatre for what was basically a resort town (Thousand Islands, St. Lawrence Seaway). It wasn’t even on a main street. There was a sign on Church Street with an arrow pointing to the Bay Theatre.

robboehm
robboehm on December 3, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Clippings from the Alexandria Bay Historical Society – “August 4, 1927. The newly built Weller Theatre was formally opened to the public Saturday evening amid elaborate ceremonies. The theatre lobby was banked with flowers and before the show was opened Fuller Cornwall, president of the Kiwanis Club gave an address.”

And later, at an unknown date –“ The new sound and effect pictures will be offered at the Weller Theatre, starting next January 26th. The music is set to each picture and the sound effects are very realistic. The new effect devices have been much improved. The management announces that there will be no advance in admission.”

And, finally in December 1964- “Theatre to be torn down – The "Bay” theatre has seen its last movie and is now in the process of being torn down to become a parking lost. Built in 1927 by Mrs. Sue Weller
the theatre is a victim of the decline in the movie business, and was closed down last Labor Day. Work is already underway to raze the structure."

robboehm
robboehm on December 4, 2009 at 4:38 am

Re my posting above the enhanced sound was January 1929.

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