What’s going on at the Bay Theatre?

Pictured above is the iconic Bay Theatre’s new marque signage. Photo by Chris MacDonald

People have been asking, “What’s going on at the Bay Theatre? Is it ready to open?”

“We’re making progress but there’s still more work to be done before opening,” said Paul Dunlap, owner and developer of the Bay Theatre on Main Street.

“It might come as a surprise to some but this is a very complicated project. We have designed it both for live performances as well as cinema. All systems inside the historic theatre have had to be designed anew—sound, lights, projection, dressing room, floor elevations, seating, HVAC, acoustics and sound attenuation.”

“It’s a complicated process to get all the necessary approvals as well as comply with ADA requirements for access throughout,” said Dunlap, who has developed historic properties in Fullerton and elsewhere. “We’re renovating the restrooms, concessions area for food and beverage and recreating the original décor and much more. That about covers the reconstruction and outfitting. Once construction is completed, we will shift the focus to booking and programming. We’ll hopefully get approved and open in 2019.”

The Seal Beach community has been looking forward to the Bay Theatre’s reopening since it closed in August 2012.

Councilwoman Ellery Deaton announced in April 2016 that Dunlap had signed a contract with the new owner. Escrow closed on the property in December 2016.

“I can’t wait for it to open,” said Woody Woodruff of W Woodruff Hair Design in Seal Beach. “It’s so exciting to see this historic landmark coming back to life—returning to become even better than ever. I’m sure it will be a jewel, an icon for all of Southern California.”

For more information about the Main Street landmark, visit https://baytheatre.com.