Bay Theater

Bay Theater (HM1B1P)

Location: Red Bay, AL 35582 Franklin County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 26.448', W 88° 8.59'

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T. A. Wilson built the theater in 1927. Since Red Bay had no electricity at that time, he used a Delco System. Shortly after, electricity became available and he had to switch from Delco to Alabama Power. When he first started in the business, he rented the back of a store on back street. He then built a building near the location of the Community Spirit Bank today. When the school burned in 1926, some classes were held there. The Red Bay Church of Christ congregation also met in the theater prior to their building a church in 1927.

In the early years, movies were silent. In 1927, shortly after the new theater was built, talk movies came in. The theater was about the only entertainment people had access to. It had a divided balcony to accommodate blacks and whites. The balcony was a favorite seating area for couples.

Movies would run all day and some people would stay all day. Mr. Wilson had a cowbell he would stay all day. Mr. Wilson had a cowbell he would ring to let people know the movie was about to start. There was a window in the projection room upstairs. He would hold the cowbell out the window to ring it. He also would throw out balloons with tickets in them. People scrambled to get the balloons even though the tickets were only ten cents. Popcorn was five cents.

Over the years, many famous entertainers appeared in person at the theater. Actors that drew a crowd were: Tim McCoy, Ken Maynard, Hopalong Cassidy, Tex Ritter, Jesse James drew the biggest crowd of all. At times, the line to get into the theater was two blocks long. "Gone With the Wind" also drew big crowd.

Guynes and Frances Walden owned and operated the theater for several years, as did Clyde A. Jackson. The building burned in 2004.
HM NumberHM1B1P
Year Placed2012
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 1:04pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 394976 N 3811625
Decimal Degrees34.44080000, -88.14316667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 26.448', W 88° 8.59'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 26' 26.88" N, 88° 8' 35.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)256, 205
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 301-399 2nd St SE, Red Bay AL 35582, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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