Although it is now restored, the Tybee Post Theater went through its own battle to get where it is today.
Built in the 1930s, the Tybee Post Theater is located in the heart of the historic Fort Screven District. This neighborhood was once home to a military base that was active from the Spanish-American War through the end of World War II. During this time, the theater, formerly named the Fort Screven Theater, served as a movie house for the U.S. Army soldiers and their families stationed within the fort. It was one of the very first theaters in Georgia equipped to show “talkies” - the earliest feature-length movies with recorded sounds. When the army was decommissioned in 1947, the buildings on the base were converted into homes, except for the theater which remained.
At the end of World War II, the military base declared a surplus and was sold to the City of Savannah Beach, now known as Tybee Island. Its land and many structures were auctioned off to the public, but, once again, the theater remained.
The family that owned the beloved Lucas Theatre in Savannah started to operate the movie house and changed its name to the Beach Theater. They managed the building until the mid-1960s before going dark. For the next 30 years, the historic landmark stood vacant.
During those three decades, the building endured many challenges. It was transferred between several different owners and suffered a devastating fire. The tragic fire destroyed the wooden stage and much of the roof.
In 1999, a developer applied for a demolition permit to clear the area. The City of Tybee Island quickly realized the significance of the building and obtained a temporary lease for the property. Two years later, the Tybee Island Historical Society purchased the building, permanently saving it. That same year, a group of concerned Tybee citizens formed Friends of the Tybee Theater (FOTT), which became a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration of this cherished landmark.