About the Bay
Address & Phone Number
214 N. Saint Joseph Street
Downtown Suttons Bay, Michigan
$7.50 Seniors (65 years+)
$6.50 Children (under 12 years)
Please, no children under 2 years
(Shows before 5:00pm)
Adults & Seniors - $6.50
Children under 12 - $5.50
(Available as announced, generally between Labor Day and Memorial Day)
Tuesdays/Free Popcorn - 1 Medium Popcorn free with ticket purchase
Wednesdays/Discount Day - All tickets $6.00
Not valid for The Bay Film Series or other special events.
- Seating for 271
- HPS-4000 Sound System (the only installation in Michigan)
- Visit Website: www.hps4000.com
- Full Theatrical Stage
- Full Concession Stand
History of the Bay Theatre
A Nickelodeon Theatre was operated at 320 St. Joseph in the first decades of the twentieth century. Anecdotal stories tell of traveling exhibitors utilizing community halls or stretching sheets between trees in the county.
Originally The Bay Theatre was home to a number of commercial enterprises built in 1920 with wood from Elmer Peterson Sawmill. It was home to Hansen Brothers Hardware, a blacksmith - livery business and Suttons Bay's Volunteer Fire Department. Empty during WWII it was transformed into a movie theatre in 1946 by Bion Rockwell. The floor was dropped into the basement and given a raked hardwood floor that it still retains. American Body-form seats were installed. The standard of the industry in the 40's & 50's they were refurbished and are still in use today.
Rockwell sold the theatre in 1958 and joined the ministry. It continued as a seasonal theatre running commercial fare and Spanish films for the migrant cherry pickers that came to the area prior to mechanical harvesting in 1969.
The Bahle Family purchased The Bay in 1976 and spent two years renovating which included the addition of stage facilities. The grand opening took place in the spring of 1978 with a live show featuring Harry Blackstone the Magician.
The Bay Theatre retains a turn-of-the century look, original seats and hardwood floors. The state of the art sound system, 16mm and 35mm film projection are used to present Hollywood hits, contemporary and foreign films, live performances and the Beyond The Bay Film Series.
Historic Suttons Bay
A Sense of Place
Owen Bahle and Leila Brehmer Bahle discuss their ancestors and the village of Suttons Bay, Michigan with historical photos and modern day footage.
Photos from the Archives
Click here for a slideshow of photos from the early days in the Bahle's History