Bays Theatre

56 Montauk Highway,
Hampton Bays, NY 11946

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Island Theater Circuit

Styles: Rustic

Previous Names: Fannings Hall, Little Theatre

Nearby Theaters

vintage photo

This small wooden structure was erected by Daniel Fanning next to his hay, grain and feed store in the late-1920’s. It was named Fannings Hall and had a capacity for 250-seats. His daughter, Ethel, played the piano for the silent movies. Admission was 35 cents for adults, 15 cents for children.

Around 1930 it was renamed Little Theatre and was listed in the 1933-1935 editions of Film Daily Yearbook as (Closed). By 1936 it had reopened as the 210-seat Bays Theatre and was still open in 1940. It was listed as (Closed) in 1941, but had reopened by 1943.

The marquee of the theatre can plainly be seen in the foreground of a 1935 photo of Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays which can be accessed on the Historical icon of the Hampton Bays Historical Society website home page.

The 1945 Handbook of Hampton Bays shows the theatre offering two evening shows daily of "up to date feature pictures and short subjects". The Bays Theatre was still open in 1955, but had closed by 1956.

The theatre was demolished some time in the late-1950"s.

There is an indication the seats were not permanent since the space was at times used for roller skating and basketball. The seating capacity is unknown but has been estimated as low as 50. More research is needed on this.

Contributed by rvb

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

robboehm on March 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Glad you found my posting of this site Lost Memory. You have the techie knowledge to access the image from the Hampton Bays Historical Society. As far as closing and opening again the society records have no knowledge of this but a family relative, who is at the society, gave me the info I had. She’s trying to check further through family members, building permits and fire commissioner reports. Hopefully, we’ll be able to flesh this out more.

robboehm on March 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Main Street/ Montauk Highway same difference. It just depends upon what is in fashion.

As far as the photo is concerned I just enter “hampton bays historical society”. On the home page is a category “Hampton Bays History”. Click on that and there is the image of the theatre from 1935. You can actually see the 35 cent admission price on the side of the building. Today the home page came up first. Sometimes there is a feature showing some current activity and you have to scroll to get you back to the home page.

robboehm on March 28, 2009 at 5:59 pm

I just entered “hampton bays historical society”. When a series of items came up I clicked on the first one. When the home page came up I clicked on Hampton Bays history and voila, as they say. If something special is going on the home page doesn’t always come up first. Would that be a problem to access? I’m very new to the computer and haven’t a clue how I’d create a link.

robboehm on March 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Something weird is going on with this site. When I went back to check my 5:39 entry it wasn’t there. So I put in another one. Now both are there.

robboehm on March 29, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Thanks, you made my day. I’ve got to get to your level so I don’t have to rely on you or Warren to access images I’ve found.

robboehm on March 30, 2009 at 9:18 am

Thanks. Problem here is I have a laptop and don’t use a mouse. Do I have an equivalent of “right click”? Obviously, I’m just learning as specific needs/desires show up. I’ve been eyeballing various courses at the library but this sort of thing is beyond the basic sort of stuff they are offering.

robboehm on March 30, 2009 at 10:56 am

Many thanks. Just completed the “paperwork” to put the new Deer Park Stadium 16 & Imax up and have five others in the research stage. I was so happy to find this site. I thought I was the only obsessive one on the subject.

robboehm on October 29, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Found and uploaded a photo of Jackson’s Theatre in Hampton Bays. Presumably the same theater.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.