148 S. Main Street,
Salt Lake City,
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The Utah Theater, also known as the Pantages Theatre and Orpheum Theatre, was built in 1919 for vaudville, but was later converted for film. For many years it was one of downtown Salt Lake’s great movie palaces. “The Sound of Music” showed at the theater for two years.
Most of the elaborate ornamentation in the theater was lost in the 1960’s when a floor was added to convert the balcony into a second auditorium. A concession stand and escalator were added to the balcony level, but most of its ornamentation remained untouched. The lower theater had pillars added, apparently to support sections of the new floor, and any surviving decorations were covered with drab draperies.
The CityRep group used the theater for live stage productions after Cineplex Odeon let its lease expire in the 1980’s, but they were eventually forced to find a new home when the theater was sold.
The new owner, a writer from Park City, planned to restore the building for live entertainment, but it never happened. The theater was sold again and the new owners started a restoration project, but apparently if failed.
The theater has been vacant for years.
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