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Struggling Bay Theatre Closes 'Temporarily'

According to the business's Facebook page, it closed Thursday. A recorded message says it's temporary.

Seal Beach's landmark Bay Theatre closed Thursday morning, triggering a wave of community concern that the struggling historic theater may be done for.

But it's only temporary, according to a phone message on the business's answering service.

"Starting Aug. 2, 2012, the Bay Theatre will be temporarily closed. Please check our website for updates on the reopening." 

There is no word yet on when business will resume.

Background

The Bay Theater, a 65-year-old building and Main Street anchor, has been at the center of controversy since owner Rena L. Singer listed it for sale in 2008 for $3.3 million.

Since then, scattered groups of history buffs and city officials have sought a means to protect the theater from being bought and torn down.

The Planning Commission has and .

However, there has not been a unified or well-funded effort to see it preserved.

Robert Aguilar, a paralegal and community activist , said he doesn’t know why the theater closed but hopes the owner won't raze the building.

“It’s basically a morale issue,” Aguilar said. "I believe this is one of the landmarks of Seal Beach."

Councilwoman Ellery Deaton said she hadn’t heard why the theater was closed but that she would look into it.

News of the closure spread quickly on Facebook. After receiving an update from the business on its public Facebook page, a number of citizens posted messages, including a few who were concerned the business was closing for good. 

According to the morning announcement from the business's Facebook page, "The Bay Theatre has closed as of Thursday, August 2nd, 2012. However, please watch this page and our website www.baytheatre.com for info our re-opening. Thank you all for your interest and your continued support."

And here are some comments from the theater's Facebook page.

Felicity Fey Kanz: "you are re-opening fer sure right!? i hope so!

Chris Willman: "Oh no. I've been checking the site because I'm finally coming down to Seal Beach from L.A. tomorrow for the first time in six months. Bad timing for me. Really, really hope this is temporary!

Tania Cruse "WHAAAA????!! why?"

Anuket Bhaduri "Sad to hear :-("

Patrick Eli Nava: "This isn't a permanent closure is it??"

Bryan Morell: "Nooo! You're the only place around that shows classic movies on every week. This is a huge bummer."

Karen Thompson (Holstein) August 03, 2012 at 05:06 AM
This would be heartbreaking. I grew up in Seal Beach and have stayed in Orange County to be close to my roots and family that still live in Seal Beach. I could walk to the movies as a kid from "the hill" and remember standing in line during the summer for the family movie on Wednesday's during the summer at the Bay Theatre. It is where I had my first kiss. Now my husband and I visit to see classic films in a classic theatre.
Karen Ferretti August 03, 2012 at 05:05 PM
My husband and I had our second date at the Bay Theater back in 1970. We live in Seal Beach today. While we don't go to the theater often enough, it surely is an icon in town and on Main St.
enea ostrich August 03, 2012 at 06:23 PM
This is so wrong. My disappointment began last year when i was researching this theater so i could write an article on it and a ook eventually. The block came when i tried to contact the owner.i tried several different ways to no avail i even spoke with city staffon the issue and even they ran into a stumbling block in trying to convey to the owner on how
enea ostrich August 03, 2012 at 06:35 PM
..to proceed with preserving/updating the theater. I feel this family owner who is in charge is irresponsible. Allowing a manager to take charge means catastrophe for such a large facility. The owner lives completely away from this state that i am aware of. When richard loderhose passed some years back his daughter rena took over and it seems she just kept it running, in hopes of selling it. The selling price last year was at 2.6 mil, but it didnt sell at that price either. That is because there is a bigger problem this property has and that is no parking. If thereis no parking available other than on street, this could deter some buyers. Anyhow the fat that it is temporarily closed may be due to fact that there is something missing such as repairs that are needed. All in all, based on my own beliefs on the subject, the owner Ms Singer loves this theater because it meant a lot to her father and to the community and that is the main reason why she tried keepping up on it for so long. I wish her well, for its not easy:)
Marc Loopesko August 03, 2012 at 07:55 PM
The best way to help out and save The Bay would be for all possible to go to a movie there once or twice a week (if they re-open?), just as you would help patronize any other favorite place that is struggling here in Seal Beach
John Crandall March 07, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Here's a brief news update on the local effort to save the theatre. http://losalamitos.patch.com/articles/save-the-bay-theatre-website-goes-live

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