Venice Theater

78 S. Main Street,
Nephi, UT 84648

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Venice Theater

The Venice Theater opened in 1915, on Nephi’s Main Street. The theater lasted until 1983, when it was gutted by a fire which also damaged the businesses on either side of the movie house. The shell of the theater stood until 2001, when it was finally demolished.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm

The Venice Motion Picture Theatre Company was organized at Nephi in June, 1914, according to the Report of the Secretary of State of the State of Utah published in 1915. Given the name of the corporation, I don’t know what to make of the claim at Utah Theatres that the house was originally called the Ermo Theatre. They cite the source for the Ermo aka as an email from someone named Jerry Shepherd. The page also gives the Venice the aka Foote Theatre.

Editions of Julius Cahn’s Guide from 1903-1904 and 1904-1905 list an 800-seat, ground floor theater called the Opera House in Nephi, managed by a Mr. G.W. Toote. I think Toote in the Cahn guides was a typo, as there are many references to a Foote family residing in Nephi, but no other references to anybody named Toote. I’ve found a 1982 reference to a Richard and Shirley Foote, of the Venice Theatre Corporation in Nephi. Perhaps the Venice Moving Picture Theatre Company of 1914 was formed not to build a new theater, but to take over operation of G.W. Foote’s Opera House and convert it to movies?

Utah Theatres has a page for the Nephi Opera House, with little information other than a seating capacity of 500 and an operational period of 1903 to after 1912, which would not conflict with the opening of the Venice in 1915, if they were the same theater.

The September 4, 1918, issue of The Music Trades says that a large American Fotoplayer had been sold in Nephi, but doesn’t name the buyer. It’s possible the instrument was installed in the Venice Theatre, although I’ve come across a single reference to an Arlington Theatre operating at Nephi in 1915, so the Fotoplayer might have gone there.

If anybody wonders what a Fotoplayer is, watch this YouTube video for a sample.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 6, 2017 at 3:33 pm

American Classic Images has this May, 1984 photo of the Venice Theatre. It does look like there could be a bit of smoke damage to the facade, and there might be a boarded up section on the pizza parlor next door, but otherwise the building looks sound enough.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater