Blue Mouse Theater

264 E. 100 S,
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

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Blue Mouse Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Cinema Art opened September 7, 1949 with “The Quiet One”. It closed in February 1953 and became a private screening room. It reopened as the Blue Mouse Theater on October 18, 1972. Closed around March 9, 1990.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce on July 18, 2017 at 12:54 am

Actually a cinema opened at this location 23 years before 1972. On September 7, 1949, Cinema Art opened in the basement of Western Sound and Equipment, a subsidiary of Intermountain Theatre Supply Co. Gordon Crowe, a 28 year-old advertising man, operated the 99-seat cinema as Salt Lake’s first art house, giving true meaning to underground cinema.

The previous July 24 the Salt Lake Tribune noted the new building was to be used as a screening room for film distributors and have vaults for film storage. Opening it to the public may have been an afterthought but the building owners were convinced by Mr. Crowe to give him a five-year lease. The lobby, also downstairs, served as an art gallery for local artists.

On April 9, 1950, Mr. Crowe was profiled in the New York Times in a quarter page article that fit neatly into their movie page. It was noted how against all warnings from film row he had made a success of the tiny theater. Mr. Crowe was convinced that in Salt Lake “there existed a small but solid audience that habitually sought out the ‘un-Hollywood’ type of motion picture fare.” His first film was The Quiet One, which he had viewed on a business trip to New York. The cinema’s early films, for a one-week run on a two shows a night basis, were filling the theater to 90 percent capacity. Crowe said he could break even with a 50 percent capacity at 75 cents a seat.

Cinema Art dropped out of the Tribune after February 15, 1953, and a notice read “available for private screenings.” According to Boxoffice Magazine March 7, 1953, Cinema Art had closed and would be used only as a screening room. There is some information that Cinema Art opened again but probably under different management.

Mr. Crowe went on to larger endeavors and his 2008 passing was even mentioned in Variety Magazine.

A 1949 photo of the building, news clip and ad are in the photo section. The New York Times story is divided into four sections for easier reading.

davidcoppock on July 18, 2017 at 1:52 am

Odd and interesting name!! Why the name Blue Mouse?

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