Utah Theatre

148 S. Main Street,
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

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Utah Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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.

Contributed by Grant Smith

Recent comments (view all 70 comments)

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on December 31, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Are current plans really to restore to its original grandeur the original single auditorium space or will it be subdivided into smaller spaces for different uses?

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 3, 2010 at 1:50 am

Nice old photos ken mc.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 19, 2010 at 12:23 am

Thanks again ken mc.

William
William on March 19, 2010 at 12:51 am

ken, the b&w shot in your post of Mar. 2nd. is from 1963 “Hatari!” the other one was 1953.

ghamilton
ghamilton on August 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Article in today’s Tribune goes into continuing limbo of this wonderful venue.Best thing is a gallery of recent interior shots.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on March 22, 2013 at 5:22 am

Here’s a 1952 article on the popular kiddie shows: http://www.boxoffice.com/the_vault/issue_page?issue_id=1952-11-1&page_no=38#page_start

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 22, 2014 at 4:47 am

Just added a photo of the Pantages Theatre under construction 1919, photo courtesy of the Old Pictures Facebook page.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 22, 2014 at 4:51 am

And one from 1920 of the completed entrance.

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