Spanish-Themed Bayside Theater Now Home to Mundane Businesses


    The old Bayside Theatre on the northeast corner of Bell Boulevard and 39th Avenue opened in 1927 (as the Capitol Theatre) and was designed by prolific theatre house architect Thomas Lamb. According to Cinematreasures commenters, it was closed during much of the Depression, but reopened in 1941:

    On November 7, 1941, it had a gala re-opening as the Skouras Bayside. Here’s a report from the Bayside Times: ‘Stars of stage, screen and radio attended the gala opening of the new Skouras Bayside Theatre, 38-39 Bell Boulevard. Among those who participated were Patti Pickens and Bob Simmons of radio and stage fame; Bob Douglas, NBC’s new singing star; Erik Rhodes, film comedian featured in many Ginger Rogers-Fred Astaire pictures, and others…The theatre has been completely rebuilt and decorated, with only the walls of the old structure retained. The lobby, auditorium and lounges have been furnished in keeping with present-day standards to create the most modern theatre on the North Shore…The new theatre will have complete changes of program twice each week, with special selected programs for children at 10 o’clock every Saturday morning.’

    United Artists closed the theatre, which had deteriorated greatly from lack of maintenance, after the weekend of October 14, 2001; Zoolander was the final first-billed feature, along with Rush Hour 2 and a couple other unmemorable productions. The ground floor has been occupied by a bank or three for the past few years.



    Above: Detail from the 39th Avenue side

    An aside: I remember as a freshman in college, a classmate named Marie M. interviewed Erik Rhodes for the school paper, the St. Francis College Voice, and it might have possibly been the most in-depth interview of the actor who usually was the foil or second banana during the 1930s golden cinematic era. This was long before the internet age, though.



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