Bijou Theatre

B. H. Stephens, architect; Robert H. Brady, builder


Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address:

211-225 N. Front St.


No longer standing




The Bijou (pronounced by-joe), which opened in 1906 in a tent-like building, was the first movie theater in Wilmington and one of the first in North Carolina. The owners subsequently erected the more substantial, classically detailed building, which opened in 1912 and seated 600 people. See, which also features an old photograph of the theater.) The Wilmington Morning Star of February 2 reported that B. H. Stephens had drawn the plans and R. H. Brady had the contract for the erection of the “new Bijou Theatre building” to be built at the site of the existing theater and explained, “It will be built around the present theatre building and will necessitate the closing of the Bijou for only about two weeks later on in the course of construction.” The Wilmington Dispatch of May 31, 1912, reported on its grand opening, handsome architecture, and good ventilation. The theater was torn down in 1963; a city park on its site retains a tile mosaic from the old theater, which reads “Bijou” (Wilmington Star-News, July 30, 2015).