Grove Theatre

20 S. Main Street,
Pleasant Grove, UT

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The Alhambra Theatre was built in 1925(1) or 1931(2) and is located on Main Street in Pleasant Grove.

On 4 August 1997, owner Sharee Young put the Alhambra Theatre up for sale for $250,000. After operating the discount theater six days a week for six years, Young said it was time to move on to other projects. “This is one I’m tired of. It’s a baby-sitting job. It’s fun, but it’s hard work, a lot of hard work.” Attendance at the Alhambra dropped a little durring 1997, which Young attributed to a poor selection family movies.(3)

In December 1997, the Alhambra Theater closed temporarily because of a lack of family-quality movies. Owners Jim and Sharee Young expressed concern about the dwindling selection of wholesome movies, while the number of PG-13 and R-rated movies increased.(4)

On 1 July 1999, the 77-year-old Alhambra Theater became the Little London Dinner Theatre, a professional theater with high-quality, family-oriented entertainment – “light-hearted with lots of laughter, great voices, great talent.”(5)

New owners Suzanne and Bill Kirby remodeled office space at the back of theater to create a kitchen and bakery “so we can serve a nice meal with chandeliers and china.”(5) The stage, which was hidden behind the movie screen, was uncovered and rebuilt. The raked floor in the auditorium was replaced with a new concrete floor with tiers and the seating was reconfigured to seat 180 patrons around tables.(6)

The Little London presented eight or nine shows a year, each bringing in better numbers than the one before. The theater was sold out for the run of “A Christmas Carol” in December 2001. Despite it success, the Little London closed in January 2002 because it could not overcome the the costs “paying actors, royalties, and all of the associated costs of providing a choice of hot dinners within the price of the ticket.”(2)

The theater was later purchased by Gayliene Omary and Jan Shelton and renamed the Grove Theatre.

The owners of the Grove Theater were told to cancel the scheduled run of the the Broadway hit “Rumors” if the actors planned to not utter obscenities in the script written by Niel Simon. The cast, crew and sets were ready to go and the theater had paid an $800 royalty to produce the play, but when they tried to get permission to omit the obscenities, Neil Simon insisted “that there be absolutely no deviation from the script as written”. Gayliene Omary and Jan Shelton bought the theater from the former owner of the Little London Theatre. “Rumors” would have been the theater’s second production.(7)

  1. “For-sale sign out at Little London Theater”, Deseret News, 27 January 2002, page E8

  2. http://www.grovetheatre.org/history.html

  3. “Now playing at Alhambra: ‘For sale’, 6 August 1997, Deseret News, Utah County Edition, page B3

  4. “The winners and the losers”, Deseret News, 20 December 1997, page A18

  5. “Cooking up some fun in Little London”, Deseret News, 23 June 1999, page B1

  6. “Summer serves a full plate of theater”, 27 June 1999, page E8

  7. “Dang! Simon says no; Utahns pull play”, Deseret Morning News, 8 August 2003

Contributed by Grant Smith

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 3, 2012 at 5:18 am

Acoustic improvements described in this 1973 trade article:Boxoffice

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