Bay Theater

Bay Theater

The Bay Theatre is a single-screen movie theater in Seal Beach, California in the United States of America. It is best known for its screenings of foreign and independent films, and for its revival screenings. The Bay Theater is also home to a Wurlitzer Organ which is used for concerts and silent film screenings.


The Bay Theatre was built in 1947 and was at one time a Fox West Coast theater. It was purchased by Richard Loderhose in 1975.

After removing some of the seats, Loderhose installed a 1928-built Wurlitzer organ that he had purchased in the early 1960s from New York City's Paramount Theater. Designed by organist Jesse Crawford, the 21 rank instrument had originally been installed in the Paramount Building's radio studio (the Paramount's auditorium organ is now in the Century II Exhibition Hall in Wichita, Kansas). The studio organ was used not only for broadcasts but for making recordings. Loderhouse acquired the organ in 1960 and installed it in his Long Island house. He moved it to the Bay Theatre in 1975. He expanded the organ from its original 21 ranks to 54 ranks. It has been called the largest Wurlitzer pipe organ in any operating theater in the world today.

The theater is mentioned in an unauthorized biography of Steven Spielberg as being his favorite place to see foreign movies while he was enrolled at nearby Cal State Long Beach in the mid 1960s.


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