Bace Theatre

308 Harrison Street,
Taft, CA 93268

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Jess W. Bace opened the $40,000, 695-seat Bace Theatre in the Ford City area on November 20, 1941. The theatre was from the design of Mr. Bace and the Bakersfield Californian noted “The floor will have a 15-inch drop per foot and will be high at the back and 2 ½ feet higher at the front near the screen than in the center of the auditorium". Bace’s Roxy Theatre, at 317 Harrison Street, was destroyed the previous June 8 by a $10,000 fire. Bace built the Roxy Theatre over a 10-month period from 1935-36 and it is assumed he built his new theatre.

Mr. Bace, who had living quarters in the theatre, was mentioned a numerous times in the Californian for his inventions. On March 11, 1939, it was reported that Jess Bace was the inventor of a new light filter. Bace, in a photograph, is shown holding his invention, which was said to give films depth on the screen. It was said “The invention of Mr. Bace is a result of 10 months experimentation and he plans to continue in making the filter even more desirable in the projection of all types". It was further noted that Bace was also the inventor of a variable pitch airplane propeller, which was being considered by the United States Army. On July 27, 1940, it was reported that Jess Bace had sold the non-exclusive rights of his variable pitch airplane propeller to General Motors for a large sum.

Mr. Bace passed away on April 12, 1945 at the age of 44 and at the time he was developing the Circle Theatre in Bakersfield. The Bace Theatre was closed in 1956. On October 30, 1957, the Californian reported that the Bace Theatre, which had been vacant for more than a year suffered $4,000 in fire damages. At that time it was in the process of being sold to a church.

The New Hope Temple has been the most recent occupant of the former theatre building.

Contributed by rpierce
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