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 Post subject: The Utah Theatre . . . in Technicolor!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 3:05 pm
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1. The Utah Theatre is located on 148 South Main Street in downtown Salt Lake City.

2. The theatre was designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca.

3. In its earlier years, the Utah theatre was also known as The Pantages and The Orpheum.

4. The theatre opened in 1919.

5. The theatre was originally built to house Vaudeville acts, but was converted to a moviehouse by the 1930s.

6. During the earlier half of the century, the large theatres downtown were known as movie palaces. The Utah Theatre was considered one of the greatest of these.

7. The Sound of Music ran at the Utah Theatre for 2 years.

8. The original structure included a single large theatre with a balcony. In the 1960s, the inside was remodeled, and a second floor was put in at balcony level, resulting in a dual screen movie house.

9. During the 1960s renovation, most of the beautiful ornamentation on on the first floor of the theatre was lost.

10. During the renovation, an escalator to the second floor and a second floor concession stand was added.

11. While the first floor decoration was destroyed, most of the ornamentation on the second floor remained untouched.

12. During its last years running films, the theatre was owned by Cineplex Odeon.

13. After Cineplex Odeon relinquished ownership of the theatre, it was leased by City Rep Theatre Company. City Rep left when the building was sold to an independent party.

14. In 1992, a writer from park city, planned to puchase and renevate the Utah Theatre yet again, but the renovation has never come to be. Since then, it has changed hands through several owners, but no full renovations have been done, and the building is currently vacant.

15. The orignal theatre was almost identical to The Pantages in downtown Los Angeles. They were designed by the architect to be sister theatres.

16. The inside of the Utah Theatre was roughly the size of the Capitol Theatre, but the lobby was far bigger.

17. As of the 1970s, there was a locked door in the back of the mens room. If you unlocked the door, you found another mens room on the other side. No one seems to know what the purpose of the second restroom was, or why the door was built to keep it from public access.

18. The estimated building cost of the theatre was $2,250,000.

19. Both of the floors of the theatre had names. The bottom floor was originally named the Utah, then later was named the Utah I. The balcony theatre was orignally named the penthouse, but was later renamed the Utah II.

20. When utilized by City Rep, the lower level was called "the Court," and the upper level was named "The Jester." The Jester featured plays marketed towards children.

21. Recent owners and developers have wanted to renovate the theatre for a number of purposes, including live performing arts center, a concert venue, a dinner theatre, or a private club. Despite this, the building has remained vacant since 1992.

22. The theatre houses 1400 seats.

23. The theatre is currently on the market for $10 million firm. The current owner is not willing to budge on the price, which many people blame for its vacancy.

24. Earlier this year, Ralph Becker announced he would like to raise funds and turn the Utah into a broadway style venue.

25. The project to possibly renovate the theatre at the expense of the Downtown Alliance is being overseen by Ralph Becker's brother, William Becker. William has produced several stage shows locally.

A picture is worth 1000 words:

All knowledge is power. Read enough factoids and you can hold in as much water as the Hoover Dam.

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