The Past, Present, and Future . . .

The Beach Theatre made history with its grand opening in January 1940.

Architect M. Winfield Lott’s 1939 design for the Beach Theatre.
Dust Be My Destiny was the Beach's first film.

The first movie theater in Pinellas County to be equipped with sound and (perhaps most importantly) air conditioning, the theater has since become a beloved landmark for St. Pete Beach. Across eight decades, it presented the best in independent and international cinema, establishing itself as Pinellas County's premiere arthouse movie theater. What’s more, it stood as an anchor for the community, giving local artists a space to create and showcase their talent both on our screen and our stage, making lasting memories for generations.

Now, after nearly a decade in the dark, it is time to open its doors again.

Our vision is simple. The Beach Theatre will be an inclusive space where St. Pete Beach and our neighboring communities may join together and share in the joy of art in all its forms. Newly released independent and international cinema will have a home here, as will carefully curated series of classic, repertory programming.
Our team values the importance of film as an art form, and believes that simply playing films only scratches the surface of what we can do; as your community cinema, we also look forward to engaging in discussion and contextualization of our programming, to take a closer look and share with you the rich and varied history of the medium.
We are also excited to utilize our stage to bring you many other forms of entertainment, including live theatre, music and dance performances, and much more, allowing the Beach to serve as a multi-functional hub for the arts in St. Pete Beach. Community partnerships have already begun to form behind the scenes to link St. Petersburg together through the arts.
To get there, we need your help. The theatre must undergo an extensive restoration which will include repairs to the roof and main auditorium, an expansion of the concession and lobby areas, as well as technical upgrades to provide stellar presentations for both films and live events.
As was the intention when the theater closed in 2012, we have decided to operate the Beach as a non-profit organization, relying on donations and continued patronage to keep our doors open.
The iconic marquee following the Beach's closure on November 18, 2012.
We are excited to announce that The Beach Theatre Community Foundation may now accept donations! Further details are on theSupport” page here on our website. Theater membership opportunities will become available once we open—but we aren’t quite there yet. As you can no doubt imagine, anything can happen in a space unused for an extended period of time—and in our case, most of it did.


The road ahead is long, and most of it is uphill, but you have already proven that you are along for the ride. With your help, the journey will be smooth—and quick. For now, tell your friends about us. Tell them to follow us on Facebook and Instagram (and make sure you’re on there too), as well as our mailing list, to watch us transform once again. Continue to share with us your memories, your photos, and your ideas.
A lot can happen in eighty years. Through world wars, hurricanes, economic downturns, and public health disasters, our cinema has stood strong. We are confident that, with your help, we can turn the Beach Theatre into a beautiful, sophisticated, and enduring cinematic landmark, recognized not only in our area but far beyond, as a premiere showcase of talent from around the world—and from our own backyard.
New memories are coming soon. We hope you will join us.